By Sam Coren
Late Spring is serious gift buying season. Is your calendar like mine with all these weddings and graduations stockpiled from May through June? Ouch, my wallet! While cash is always king, sometimes you’d like your gift to represent a little more thought than a fistful of dollars. While Dr. Seuss’s beloved Oh! The Places You’ll Go is cute and inspiring, at the end of the day it’s still a children’s book that’s going to collect dust until they have kids.
So if you’re trying to impress a certain grad-to-be here are a few graduation gifts they can make serious use of:
1. A Gym Membership
Now you might want to use a bit of discretion before giving this to a new grad, but for many college grads their “free” pass to the gym is coming to an end. Most campuses will revoke recreation center privileges a month or two post-graduation, so for a college gym rat, facing the music of having to pay for a private gym membership can be a tough blow. You should also consider getting them a membership at a gym that has multiple locations in the very likely event will they wind up moving.
2. A New Passport
Ask any seasoned traveler and they’ll tell you the best time to get or renew your passport is when there’s no pressure to get it done right before a trip. And with a typical application processing time of 4-6 weeks it’s easy to see why! If your new grad currently doesn’t have a passport, the application and execution fees come to $165.
It’s also important to note that if they were under 16 when they got their first passport they won’t be able to do a simple renewal and will have to apply for a new one. So do a bit of digging and ask their parents if they have a passport and when they got it before signing a check and printing out the application forms for their gift.
3. A Vanity Domain Name
Getting [your grad’s name].com is a way of insuring they can start staking a claim in their own online presence. This is crucial in today’s modern job market where HR departments and recruiters are taught to Google candidates before even picking up the phone or sending you an email for an interview. Even if your new grad isn’t super tech savvy they could still make use of having a custom domain name – it’s incredibly easy to set up a Tumblr blog and point the domain name to it.
4. A Gift Certificate to a “Grown Up” Clothing Store
Even though some fashionistas consider college campuses the new runway, not all college students have a reliable inventory of “job interview friendly” clothes. Giving a new grad a jump start on a new wardrobe can be a huge help. Chances are after college their favorite duds went through some serious wear and tear anyway and they could use some new clothes, job interviews or not.
5. A Car Share
If the new grad is moving to a big city and giving up their car in favor of public transit, they might end up going through some seperation anxiety. Luckily there are numerous car share companies that recognize the urbanite’s need for personal transportation.
A car share company is essentially a car rental agency for short-term use. Want to make a run to pick up a lot of groceries or need a day trip to the country side? Companies like Zipcar make it easy by having cars throughout the city availble for hourly rentals with insurance and gas included in the membership cost.