It’s officially graduation time again! I had such mixed emotions when I graduated from high school and college (three years ago tomorrow!). I loved high school, which is crazy to say because it’s typically the one life stage that so many would much rather skip over and never think about again. I sang in chorus, played tennis for my high school’s team, and had a fun group of girlfriends. But the end was particularly bittersweet because I knew my group of friends would likely change (and honestly shrink) as everyone moved away to college. Graduating from college, on the other hand, was so exciting. I remember standing on a balcony at my college’s student center overlooking the crowd of parents and loved ones waiting for the ceremony to start and being in complete awe. I was pumped to not have to think about studying for my next test ever again, and I was also so proud of the accomplishment I had just achieved.
Even though my feelings about high school and college graduations differ, they definitely have a few things in common. One of the number one themes: graduation parties. I’ve definitely attended quite a few! Choosing the right gift to give that is slightly different than simply offering a check can be downright troubling. So, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites for girls below! Each is under $50, and they are equally as perfect for a high school grad leaving for college as they are for a college grad gearing up for the job hunt. Congratulations, class of 2014!
1. Monogram Garland ($24) // I may be ever so slightly biased, but I think a monogram garland would look so sweet in a dorm room! It’s the perfect personalized touch that can be hung at a high school graduation party and repurposed as decor a few short months later.
2. Art Print ($18) // My friend Emily just opened a new shop, and the art prints she designed are so pretty. This quote is one of my favorites because excitement and uncertainty are almost always mixed at graduation. A pretty print with a simple reminder to be present in the moment is perfect for all grads!
3. Notebook ($15) // Whether she’s graduating from high school and preparing to attend new meetings in college or prepping to start a new job, a pretty notebook is always great to have on hand to jot down to-do lists, notes, and big dreams. I think Rifle Paper Co. has some of the prettiest floral prints.
4. Book ($13) // This is the greatest book I have read in such a long time. I love reading interviews, and Katherine Schwarzenegger reflected how I felt (and sometimes still feel!) after I graduated from college. She talks about her own thoughts about graduating and how she truly was uncertain about her future to the point that she moved home and took a break to decide which path to follow. Her book is both relatable and completely inspiring in part due to the 33 individuals she interviewed about their own post-grad experiences (think: John Legend, Gayle King, and Blake Mycoskie among many more). Seriously, read this…and breathe.
5. Bow Ring ($48) // Kate Spade has become my go-to for just about any occasion. My bow ring is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. It’s classic and pretty while still being whimsical and fun – a great mix whether she’s meeting new friends at school or attending meetings as a young professional.
6. Monogram Lucite Tray ($30) // Naturally, I adore the monogrammed bow lucite tray from Nico & Lala. Use it as a catch all for jewelry in a new college dorm or as a fun addition to a dresser in a first apartment or at home. All of the bows and navy and pink and monograms all of the time. :)
Do you have any fun go-to gifts for graduation parties? I would love to hear!
P.S.: The perfect gift under $75? A Fujifilm Instax Mini 8. I’m obsessed with this little instant film camera!
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