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42 high school graduation gifts to prepare them for life outside the classroom

Celebrate the next phase of their life with the perfect gift.
Lorraine Boogich / Getty Images

Graduation day is a momentous occasion for students and families, but especially when you're in high school. The anticipation and work leading up to the commencement ceremony is stressful enough, but celebrating their accomplishments with a practical graduation gift (and perhaps a party!) will be well worth the hassle.

From college essentials to personalized keepsakes, consider sending your favorite member of the class of 2023 something from our curated collection of high school graduation gifts.

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High school graduation gifts for her

"Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Recipes (and Love My Microwave): A Cookbook"

Whether she's a novice in the kitchen or is simply facing time constraints with new responsibilities and priorities, this cookbook from chef David Chang and food journalist Priya Krishna is filled with plenty of quick meal inspiration.

Mydethun Moon Lamp

If they're glued to their TikTok seeking inspiration for their college dorm, they'll appreciate receiving a glowing moon lamp to spruce up their new space.

Soundance Laptop Stand

They're going to need a sturdy, ergonomic-friendly laptop stand when they're typing up term papers and theses. Available in trendy hues like gold pink and aquamarine, this laptop riser with 40,000+ five-star ratings is made with an aluminum alloy that'll prevent their computer from overheating.

The Comfy

This Shop TODAY editor-approved gift combines the comfort of a blanket with the style of a hoodie — so your graduate remains comfy no matter where they are!

The Forged Word Rose Gold Necklace

Senior year is full of hurdles, but they made it to the finish line! Surprise them with an inspiring piece of graduation jewelry to congratulate them.

Homesick Candle

Wherever your grad ends up, this candle will make sure they have a little piece of home with them. Each candle comes with its own unique scent that's meant to remind people of their home state and nostalgic memories.

Jenn Loryn Designs Monogrammed Laundry Bag

Make laundry a little easier with this personalized laundry bag. Designed for easy trips to the laundry room, this unique Etsy graduation gift can be personalized with different colors, patterns and embroidery options.

Keurig K-Cup Coffee Maker

For the coffee lover in your life, surprise them with their very own single-serve Keurig. The brand considers this model to be one of its most compact designs yet, making it perfect to store in small places. The brand also claims that it can make three cups of coffee in under a minute.

Georgetown Cupcake Bestseller Cupcake Dozen

Any time is a good time for a cupcake, but we bet any high schooler will appreciate a dozen classic sweet treats from Georgetown Cupcake to celebrate this milestone.

Ultraideas Memory Foam Slippers

These memory foam slippers were styled to keep their feet comfortable and warm, making it perfect for days spent lounging around their dorm room.

Letters To My Future Self

This nostalgic gift is one your grad can look back on one day. They can leave themselves a personalized message to read years down the road.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera

This mini camera is perfect for capturing memories — it instantly prints the picture out for them to share and enjoy!

Engrave My Memories Graduation Tumbler

Personalize a graduation gift for your loved one! Designed to keep drinks either warm or cold, this tumbler comes in eight vibrant colors and you can even customize the artwork.

Collegiate Pouches

Stowing away small essentials — and showing off their new school spirit — has never been easier thanks to these woven pouches.

100 Things To Do Scratch Poster

Instead of checking things off their bucket list, make it more interactive with this scratch-off poster. After they complete each activity, they'll be surprised with a colorful picture behind each square.

Master Lock Personal Safe

This portable safe keeps their personal documents and belongings secure no matter where they are. The sleek design can hold their phone, passport and other important documents.

Himawari Travel Backpack

Created to be both spacious and fashionable, this backpack was made to hold all of her belongings — including their laptop!

House Day Space Saving Hangers

College dorms are not always the most spacious for their much-loved dresses and garments, so these space-saving hangers will definitely come in handy. The folding design allows her to fit up to five hangers at once.

Brooklinen Down Alternative Mattress Topper

Chances are their dorm room bedding may not be the comfiest, but she won't be complaining resting on this plush micro-gel mattress topper from Brooklinen.

Béis The Carry-On Roller

Oh, the places she'll go! Prep her for any upcoming travels with this roomy carry-on with 360-degree rolling wheels, a cushioned grip and an expansive interior.

High school graduation gifts for him

Minger LED Strip Lights

He might be ready to give his bedroom a literal glow-up. With over 97,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon, these LED strip lights should do the job perfectly.

Apple HomePod Mini

Even if they have a sweet speaker system in their bedroom, they'll need a quality one for their dorm room. Enter Apple's small but mighty HomePod mini, measuring under four inches tall but providing rich, 360-degree audio that'll sound great wherever they may be.

Kai 11" Noodle Bowl with Chopsticks

If they're planning on eating ramen every night for dinner, you might as well give them a sleek vessel (and a proper set of chopsticks!) for them to enjoy it.

"F in Exams"

Tests may have been a constant struggle during high school, but at least they can laugh about it now. They'll also get a kick out of this compilation of over 250 hilariously wrong test answers from real-life exams.

Angel Food Bakery You Da Bomb Donuts

Tell them how proud you are of them with some pillowy, sugary, yeasty donuts.

Things They Don't Teach You Game

Put his school smarts to the test with this game full of random facts and trivia about subjects they probably didn't learn in class.

Bagail Packing Cubes

These packing cubes would make a great gift for the frequent traveler. The variety of sizes will keep all of their clothing and belongings neatly organized in their suitcase, or they can use them for storage in their dorm.

Waowoo Weighted Blanket

Help bring some relaxation to your loved one with a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are known for their soothing benefits and comforting sensation. This option is made with breathable bamboo, which aims to help keep you cool.

Mavo Craft Folding Lap Desk

For the days when your graduate wants to stay in bed and do work, this folding lap desk will keep school supplies all in one place and folds away for easy storage.

Stay Fine Personalized Engraved Wallet

Now is the perfect time to surprise your graduate with a personalized wallet to keep their belongings in.

Sky Wood Studio Custom Docking Station

A handy place to keep all of their belongings, this dock station features a charging station for phones, and side hangers for watches, keys and more. To make it more personalized, you can choose to have the recipient's name or initials engraved.

Haundry Mesh Shower Caddy

If he's moving into a dorm with a shared bathroom, he'll definitely need a durable and waterproof shower caddy to help carry his toiletries.

Personalization Mall Custom Fishing Lure

The fishing enthusiast in your life may enjoy a lure that you can customize with a message of your choice. No matter where they end up, they'll be sure to think of you with this special gift.

Bare Home Twin XL Sheet Set

Every grad needs a comfortable set of sheets to make their dorm feel a little cozier. The brand designed it with ventilation and breathability in mind for a comfy night's sleep.

Tree Town Paper Monogrammed Cuff Links

For those interviews and formals that your graduate will eventually attend, provide them with a pair of cuff links customized just for them. You can add their initials for a personalized touch.

Newhey Men's Messenger Bag

This handy messenger bag was designed to be spacious enough to hold everything from papers to laptops. It comes in six different colors that each have their own vintage flair.

Uncommon Goods MLB Ballpark Traveler's Map

If the grad is a huge baseball fan, they'll love this interactive MLB map. They can add a corresponding MLB Club sticker for each ballpark they've visited.

Unique high school graduation gifts

Hey Dewy Wireless Facial Humidifier

This is a useful gift your recent grad will appreciate. The facial humidifier is easy to carry, portable and can be transported practically anywhere.

Relax Sacks 6' Bean Bag Chair

Whether they're moving into a dorm room or staying at home, they'll want to cozy up in this supportive bean bag chair while they're playing video games or cramming for future exams.

Grovemade Leather Mouse Pad

For the grad that loves to be organized, this innovative mouse pad features a hardwood tray where they can place their favorite ink. It offers the right amount of cushion to move the cursor with ease.

Welly Camp Cup

For those seniors that always struggle with their morning brew, this mug is the best leak-proof product that won't spill their drink. It'll also keep their beverages warm for up to six hours.

SodaStream Art Sparkling Water Maker

Do they always run to the market for sparkling water? A SodaStream will surely save them time and money. The water sparkling maker kit will allow them to customize their drink with any flavor.

Mark & Graham Dual Travel Organizer

This is an excellent organizer for the grad that travels a lot and needs to keep their makeup and jewelry in one place. It features a bottom compartment for jewelry and a top compartment for cosmetics. For the element of surprise, add a touch of personality with a monogram.