As caps rise skyward this graduation season, so do the hopes and dreams of the Class of ‘17. They’ve worked hard to prepare their minds for the next phase of their life. If you’re the proud parent, friend or relative of a diploma-grasping grad, it’s your job to help prep them for dorm life or the inception of real life with a graduation gift specifically designed to come in handy. Whether your grad is heading off to college, striving for an advanced degree or entering the workforce, we have a collection of gifts for men that will make him feel like a valedictorian—many of which require a crowbar and some elbow grease to open.
FRESH GIFTS FOR THE INCOMING FROSH
Classrooms, proms and varsity jackets are sooo high school. Now it’s time for lecture halls, co-eds and dean’s lists (you hope). But adjusting to life away from home can be hard. Demanding courses. New friends. No parental guidance in sight. This trio of crates will help your incoming freshman survive and thrive.
- Down with dorm food drama
On Super Sloppy Joe night at the dining hall, it’s nice to have a convenient alternative tucked away in the room. Ramen is the perfect college food—fast, easy and fun to eat. Instead of resorting to the dry cereal bins when the nightly “special” is anything but, let him twirl some noodles of nourishment.
- Fuel for the late-night cram session
Studying into the wee hours and the occasional dreaded all-nighter are a part of college life. Help your new grad make procrastination productive with the gift of caffeine. He’ll be able to power up and keep his eyelids open long enough to ace that Poli Sci exam.
- Attack of the card shark
Just picture it: The guys are crowded around a trunk in the middle of the dorm room. Chips are stacked high. Cards are flying. Yes, poker nights in the dorms are a college rite of passage. Bringing a poker set in an ammo can is a surefire way to make new buddies—and maybe a few extra bucks for pizza.
TOO-COOL GIFTS FOR GRAD SCHOOL
“Wait, there’s still more to learn,” says the eager grad-student-to-be. If your graduate’s thirst for knowledge has yet to be quenched, he may be sticking around campus a few more years to collect another degree. While he attempts to add some extra letters to his title, you can add a prized possession to his life.
- A flask that’s up to the task
All those internships, group projects and case studies can wear at one’s nerves. Check the bar for a much-need swig of inspiration...and the roommates left nary an ounce of alcohol on the premises. Ah, but not if you’ve gifted this grad student a secret stash where no self-respecting student will find it—in a romance novel!
- Never B-flat
Every well-rounded twenty- (or thirty-) something needs a hobby. None are more socially magnetic making sweet, sweet music. But he can’t be taken seriously with just any old set of strings. A campfire guitar etched with his name, including a built-in tuner and Dreadnought body, will make him the superstar at every woodsy weekend getaway.
- Game on!
At least one night every few weeks, he’ll need a break from slaving away at that all-consuming thesis. Did someone say “game night?” Having a few crowd-pleasing games will help everyone blow off a little steam and clear the brain for new and enormous ideas to flow freely.
REALLY IDEAL GIFTS FOR THE REAL WORLD
Working 9 to 5 after living the dream of a Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-only course schedule during senior year can be a harsh splash of cold water in the face. Hand that lad a towel—and a gift that will help him successfully transition to professional status.
- The cubicle is a fairway
There’s lots of room for opportunity when starting out at the bottom of the corporate ladder. And any successful businessman knows the real work gets done outside of the office. Like at golf meetings. Encourage your entrepreneur to hone his swing so he can really impress the bigwigs.