I can remember college graduation like it was only yesterday, and let me tell you, it was as exciting as it was intimidating! After spending years in a fairly sheltered and inexpensive environment (it was acceptable to have dumpy furniture and eat mac ‘n cheese 3 nights a week), I was about to embark on the journey into real life, one complete with expectations of adulthood, something that I really knew very little about. Living in a fairly affluent college town, I see recent grads taking their graduation gifts for a spin around the neighborhood, but for the rest of us who really should leave the second hand particle board desk at the apartment dumpster, more practical gifts are the answer. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
- New furniture is an easy way to make a recent grad happy. As I just mentioned, a lot of the college furniture in our apartment was not what you would want to take with you to your first apartment, never mind the cracked glasses and stained plates. A gift card to Ikea or Target is a great way to help any graduate get on their feet in a good way.
- Some appropriate interview and work clothing is another great way to give your recent grad a leg up on the real world. No matter what field you’re looking to enter, having some nice, new threads is not only essential for the workforce; it’s also a great confidence booster. For the business and management minded, I recommend Banana Republic as you can get a sharp looking suit for half the price of an expensive, tailored one.
- Speaking of interviews, how ready is your recent grad for the increasingly competitive, and frankly arduous, interview process? Consider getting them a professional resume service, interview practice, and web/social media consulting. In today’s employment environment, every little bit helps!
- Food is another big issue. Just because college has ended, a budget worthy of ketchup on pasta hasn’t necessarily ended with it. A series of gift cards to an upscale supermarket or a subscription service for gourmet foods or even a nice monthly beer/wine club is a great way to add a little luxury to what may very well be a year or two of bargain dinners before one’s career takes off.
- Lastly, if your recent grad can choose their energy provider when they move into their new home, refer them to Direct Energy through our Refer-a-Friend program and you will both receive $50. This is one gift that also gives back!
Oh, and tell your recent grads to hold on to that fake, plastic potted tree (the one wrapped with string lights), it’s a great accent piece for any new apartment.