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Creative Graduation Gift Giving Tips

Photo of Valentin Hinov Valentin Hinov 09 June 2022
An image of a class celebrating its graduation.

With summer around the corner, it means only one thing — graduation season!

Studies show that over 4 million students graduate annually, and that number has been growing each year. With the pandemic changing the way students attend school, making up for missed experiences has become increasingly important.

Even though most events are back in-person, if you are unable to attend a graduation, you can show your appreciation with a virtual graduation card from Thankbox. These make great gifts, especially if you’re missing the ceremony, as you can acknowledge the achievement and hard work of the graduate.

Choosing a Graduation Gift

When it comes to giving a gift, the pressure can be immense. You don’t want to go over the top, but also be too casual. If you’re indecisive about a graduation gift, think of your relationship with the graduate and their field of study. If you don’t know them too well, opt for a generic gift, but close relationships warrant something personal, and more expensive.

Another factor to consider is what the graduate studied and their potential next moves. For instance, someone graduating with a teaching degree might love a gift card that lets them spend on classroom supplies or stationery for their desk. Meanwhile, another graduate who plans to work crazy hours might appreciate a Uber Eats gift card.

Try not to overthink. Give something that feels like it serves a purpose, rather than something that’s just for show.

Creative Graduation Gift Ideas

With so many options, here are some graduation gifts to consider this season:

Virtual Graduation Gift Cards from Thankbox

Sometimes a physical gift doesn’t cut it. Sure, the idea of opening a gift is nice, but what if it’s a miss? Luckily, gift cards are more appropriate than you think. In fact, a recent Blackhawk survey reported that 75% of millennials prefer a gift card for graduation. So, with that in mind, the next question to consider is what’s the best gift card format?

Enter Thankbox.

Thankbox is a digital solution for personalised group cards and gift cards. The recipient can choose where to redeem a Thankbox gift card at retailers worldwide, so that’s one less decision to make. Although each gift card participant can offer suggestions, it’s the recipient who ultimately decides how to spend the cash. This saves everyone time and money.

Once you create a Thankbox gift card, just share the secure link with friends and family. From there, each participant can add their own personal message.

Thankbox online cards also allow you to include fun elements like GIFs, videos, and custom themes and fonts. You can also choose a traditional template or even format it as a “thank you for letting me be a part of your special day”, especially if you were invited to the ceremony and want to show extra appreciation.

A Thankbox Graduation Card sample highlighting personal messages, GIFs, and images.

A great feature of a Thankbox graduation card is that once the card is complete, you can schedule it to send whenever you like. Also, the group feature allows friends and family members from anywhere in the world to participate and make a lasting impact.

Learn more about what Thankbox has to offer here.

Thankbox mortarboard graduation card icon Start your graduation celebration now

It takes years to graduate, only seconds to start the celebration with a Thankbox. Anyone, anywhere can contribute - messages and cash for a special gift. Yay!

Personalised pen & stationery

In some situations, a physical gift feels more appropriate. If you're close to the person graduating, you probably know them well. For example, a stationery set is always a good option for someone transitioning into adulthood.

This gift is especially good for:

  • Teachers

  • Writers/Journalists

  • English graduates

  • Librarians

eLearning Subscription

Even if someone has just finished their degree, some subjects require further learning and certificates. For example, computer programming requires candidates to have certifications in addition to their degree. Basically, any subject that is constantly evolving is worth keeping up with through eLearning.

Some common eLearning platforms to consider are:

  • LinkedIn Learning (powered by Lynda): Offers a range of courses in all disciplines. Users can complete “learning paths” and get credentials that integrate on their LinkedIn profile.

  • Udemy: A popular learning and teaching marketplace with over 49 million students participating in thousands of courses

  • Codecademy: Offers free courses, so you can include a link to the relevant courses in a virtual card!

  • Skillshare: Offers courses in business, design, technology, and more. Users can pick specific skills to focus with support of the Skillshare community.

  • Coursera: Founded by two Stanford computer science professors, Coursera offers online courses that allow students to acquire different degrees and certifications.

Magazine subscriptions

Contrary to popular belief, people still love to read, especially digital versions of magazines, and some even appreciate the experience of flipping pages. A magazine subscription is a great gift for someone with specialised interests.

Here are a few magazines to consider for college graduates:

  • Fashion Magazines: Vogue is a bible for fashion students, and not cheap, so this will be a much appreciated gift.

  • Home & Lifestyle Magazines: These magazines are great for interior design, architecture, and hospitality students.

  • Business: Finance, economics, and marketing students will benefit from subscriptions like Forbes and The Economist.

  • Technology: Keeping up with the latest in technology is essential for anyone in programming and data.


While people aren’t necessarily rushing to bookstores anymore, kindles, and other e-readers are popular. However, if you know your recipient prefers physical copies, opt for that instead. If you aren’t sure what book to get, get a bookstore gift card instead. You can integrate these with a virtual card, and increase the card value by adding other members.

Students are always curious - books are a great asset for the mind. This lovely image shows how great a gift of a book can be.

Tech accessories

Recent graduates often face new responsibilities and getting organised is an essential part of that. If you’re looking for a modest, but useful gift, consider tech accessories. Depending on what devices a recipient uses, you have a few options:

  • Apple watch band or case

  • Samsung/other tech watch band or case

  • Case for earbuds (Airpods or another brand)

  • Laptop or tablet case

  • Phone case with wallet storage

  • Technology stands for multiple devices (phone, watch, etc.) . Make sure to double-check if the recipient has the device the gift is designed for.

Desktop clock

If you haven’t heard of “The Pomodoro Technique,” you might want to keep reading. This time management technique improves productivity by breaking work down into increments. The technique is supposed to enhance your brain’s natural reward system.

If you’d like to gift this, you can do it with cube timers. They are cube-shaped desktop clocks with different set timers on each side. You can find them online and even in some stores.

The Bottom Line

When you’re celebrating a graduation, you want to make a statement. Graduation is a memory most people remember forever. If someone you know is graduating soon, make sure to share well-wishes and support them.

As soon as you know the date, start planning so that you aren’t running around at the last minute. Many of the suggestions in this article can be gifted in the form of a gift card, so if you want to get started right, you can do it through Thankbox!

Thankbox mortarboard graduation card icon Start your graduation celebration now

It takes years to graduate, only seconds to start the celebration with a Thankbox. Anyone, anywhere can contribute - messages and cash for a special gift. Yay!

Cover photo: Pavel Danilyuk - Pexels.