This time of year is filled with back yard parties, barbecues and Open Houses. In case an “Open House” is a Detroit thing, let me define my meaning for you. When I refer to an open house, I’m referring to a celebration honoring a recent high school or college graduate who in many cases are heading to the next stage of their life. I’m not sure why it’s not called a “Graduation Party” but I don’t make the rules up, I just go and have a good time.
I was recently invited to an “Open House” honoring a close friends’ younger brother. At first I wasn’t sure what type of gift to give him but I finally figured it out. In case you’re like me, I’m here to give my two cents and offer great gift suggestions.
Newspaper or Magazine Subscription. Regardless of their major, people (especially students) like to read magazines and newspapers. Once they get to college magazines are wants and may not be in their budget. If you want to keep the student abreast on current events, a subscription to the New York Times or the Chicago Tribune would be a nice gift also.
College Paraphernalia. Unless you get items with their schools arch rival on it this gift will be well appreciated. Nothing screams school pride louder than a t-shirt, sweatshirt or mug with their school symbol or mascot on it. You can order these items online or if it’s a local university, take a nostalgic trip to the bookstore and pick out the perfect gift.
Urban Guide. For students attending a school in a larger metropolitan area, a city guide listing restaurants, tourist attractions, and other local information may be a useful graduation gift. If your college-bound high school graduate is moving away to attend college in, say, New York City, Chicago, Boston or Detroit navigating the new city can be daunting on top of adjusting to college. Give the kid a leg up on their new environment.
Pizza Gift Certificates. It is well-established in popular culture that college students love pizza and order it frequently. Find out what pizzerias are popular (chain or otherwise) near the student’s campus and order a bunch of gift certificates. Not only will you be feeding a hungry mouth at many a midnight, but you may also make the student the hero among his or her hallmates!
Photo Album or Scrapbook. It’s normal for college students who are leaving town to become homesick, especially during the first few weeks of the semester. If you’re the arts-n-crafty type, consider creating a scrapbook that has pictures of friends and family, inspirational quotes, letters of support, and other keepsake items. Depending on how sentimental your college-bound student is, you can create something that will remind them warmly of home without embarrassing them too much! This is also an inexpensive idea. If you can’t afford an expensive gift, hit ‘em with a heartfelt one at graduation.
Classic College DVDs. Just about all traditional college students spend time watching movies with friends. While the student may already own some of his of her favourite movies, why not present some classic college-themed DVDs as a package gift (along with a DVD player if they don’t have one to take to their residence hall). Examples of appropriate movies include: School Daze, Old School, Higher Learning, Stomp The Yard, Drumline, Road Trip, etc. If possible, try to mix fun flicks with serious stories.