Even though it is currently snowing outside my window and colleges aren't even hosting face-to-face classes (some have even just shut down for the year), we are coming up on graduation and commencement season. Most colleges have postponed their commencement ceremonies because of COVID-19, and I wouldn't be surprised if the next step is just mailing the diplomas with a congratulatory sticky note.
No one likes to sit in an ill-fitting gown and hair-tugging cap on an uncomfortable folding chair in less than ideal weather listening to a speech about following your dreams when the majority of the class won't even get out of debt for the next 10 years, but graduating is something to be proud of and something to be celebrated. Whether it is high school or college, graduating translates into some type of success, whether you scraped by (Cs get degrees!) or flew with colors and had every cord around your neck and patch around your robe when you walked.
Although receiving a piece of paper that certifies "I am Smart", graduating means that you've put enough critical thinking into your life to be able to move on to the next level. High school graduates, whether they go to college, take a year off, or begin working, have found what they want to do. College graduates, whether they be English majors or biochemical engineering majors, have found their joy and are pursuing what will fulfill them emotionally and professionally.
And that is something to be celebrated! Graduating is a big deal - celebrate accordingly!
But what gift do you get for someone who is graduating? Obviously there is not a blanket answer, we've got a few ideas.
Even though you're on Nudge's website, it doesn't NEED to be a Nudge item (although 99.2% of our customers would say differently). Here are some ideas that are good for most graduates.
Shadow box. If your graduate is the nostalgic type or graduated Magna Cum Laude and wants to show if off in their new corner office, some type of display case for the diploma or the tassel from the graduation cap would be a nice touch.
A watch. This is what my parents got me for my graduation, and I was so grateful. Even though my first job out of college was working in facility maintenance, I didn't have a lot of opportunities to wear it on the job, but it's a timeless gift (pun), and will pair well with the gold watch you receive upon retirement.
Something college specific. Obviously every bookstore has "This College Alumni" shirts and most high schools have the option to purchase "Class of 2020", (sidenote, my youngest cousin was born in 2001 and at the time someone mentioned she was the class of 2020 - I had a John Mulaney reaction) but those are a dime-a-dozen. Our friends at Stone Armory have hundreds of great gifts that will check tons of boxes for graduates.
A gas gift card. This obviously isn't personal or commemorative in any way, but it goes a long way. By and large college towns aren't always big hubs for new jobs, but because housing is cheap and the layout is familiar, graduates don't always leave right away (this could be completely wrong, but the majority of my graduating class stuck around our college town for the summer as their lease ran out and they worked in a much larger city east of our campus). That creates a commute and unless you live in one of the 10 biggest cities in the country, public transportation might not be available, and you know what that means: commuting.
A mutual fund or some sort of investment starter. Again, not exactly the most sentimental but saving for retirement isn't as omnipotent as it was in previous generations (click warning - CNBC makes an avocado toast joke and my eyes rolled so hard I had to catch them as they rolled out of my head, but the rest of the content is still quite engaging). Buying a growth or index fund (especially right now!) for a 21-year old will be a nice starter for retirement that they can add to later. (Not that you're here for investment information but go with Charles Schwab!)
Obviously anything from Nudge Printing. The great thing about our product line is that they are flexible between both high school graduates and college graduates. Is your son or daughter (or grandson, granddaughter, niece, nephew, neighbor, friend, babysitter, cousin, dog-walker, plant waterer, snow shoveler, lawn mower) graduating high school and matriculating to one of our 27 universities? Look no further! Get them a bumper sticker to fuel their excitement, a t-shirt for them to wear (not at orientation though, you could get beat up for that), or a hoodie for when the weather turns cold and you still have to walk everywhere!