After years of late nights, stressful assignments and maybe a few too many Red Bulls, it’s all about to be worth it. Finally, it’s time to graduate university and enter the ‘real world’. Being such a significant occasion, you want to be able to mark it with an equally significant gift.

We’ve put together 10 foolproof ideas that suit all graduates - for him or her - and every budget.

1. A nice watch

One of the best types of gifts to receive is something that you really want and will love for years, but don’t necessarily have the money to buy for yourself right now. Having just finished university and now looking to enter the workforce, money can be a bit tight for graduates.

A nice watch gives them something timeless (see what we did there), and will make them feel sophisticated and smart every time they wear it - especially on the way to an important job interview!

daniel wellington watch

2. Cookbooks

More than ever, University graduates choose to stay at home while completing their studies, as a way of saving extra money and being able to focus on getting those good grades. Even if they have moved out already, it’s more than likely their diet over the last few years has been on cheap instant noodles and takeout.

A good cookbook that has recipes for simple, affordable, but healthy food is a great investment that the graduate can use to begin their journey into becoming an independent adult (with cooking skills to boot).

3. A trusty toolset

Again, whether the graduate has been camping out at home or has already spread their wings, it’s likely they’ll be making a change in their living situation in the near future, once they’ve got a steady income coming in. Having a toolset on hand is incredibly important for any household; from the new IKEA furniture they have to assemble to the minor fixes they find themselves making on their rental property.

tools layed out on a table

4. Monthly subscription boxes

Although they’ll be out there making more money than they were while studying, that first year, in particular, will still mean some strict budgeting. Having a box of goodies to look forward to every month can be really special, especially when it’s got luxuries they may not have afforded to buy themselves.

There are a plethora of monthly subscription boxes out there, from beauty products to good reads - it all depends on what you think will make your University graduate happiest.

5. A nice outfit

They’re out of the woods in terms of University stress, but now they’ve got the next hurdle to jump over - finding a job. Investing in a nice outfit for them to wear to job interviews will take a little bit of stress out of the situation, plus help them feel confident that they’ll score their dream job in no time.

man and women in business suits

6. A photo book of memories

Graduation is another significant moment of transition that can be pretty nostalgic for University graduates. Remind them of their incredible journey (so far) by putting together a photo book filled with memories. You can go back as far as childhood photos, and even call on their friends to add in memories and notes to make it extra special.

a wall full of photographs

7. ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go!’ by Dr. Seuss

No list of University graduation gift ideas would be complete without this number. This book was written almost 30 years ago, yet it still remains to be a great source of inspiration to anyone who reads it.

You can, of course, add something extra to the book by hiding some money, extra words of wisdom, or photographs between the two covers.

8. Letters from friends and/or family

Again, you can appeal to that sense of nostalgia as University graduates prepare to venture out into the world by collating letters and notes from family and friends. The great thing about this idea is that you can get really creative, putting notes into a jar for the graduate to read whenever they are feeling a little stressed or down, adding them to a scrapbook they can flick through, or even setting them all out in a frame for them to hang in their room.

stack of hand written letters

9. Take a trip!

The older your kids get, the fewer and farther between family vacations become. Not to mention, once your university graduate has entered the workforce, time for a holiday is not going to immediately be on the books.

Take advantage of that gap between studying and working by organising a special trip - it doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive or far. As long as you’re making memories together, it’ll be special wherever you go.

a map outlining a trip

10. A bottle of something nice

If the recent graduate drinks alcohol, buying a nice bottle of wine, scotch, whiskey, or whatever they prefer is a fantastic gift idea. Being a gift, it’ll usually be in a price range they wouldn’t spend when buying alcohol for themselves. Plus, they can enjoy it while celebrating the occasion!

alcohol bottles on a wall

While you’re shopping for the perfect University graduate gift, make sure they’ll be dressed to impress for the occasion. George H Lilley is the expert when it comes to graduation and academic regalia - discover our range today.