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38 Best High School Graduation Gifts to Celebrate His or Her Next Chapter

Parents, there's no doubt that these ideas are way more thoughtful than cash.

high school graduation gifts
amazon, urbanoutfitters

There's no way around it: Your high school grad is about to enter the real world. And while, yes, we know it may be hard to accept that they're growing up and moving on, this moment is also a cause for celebration. Whether they're heading off to college, trade school, a gap-year adventure or straight into the work force, set aside some time to celebrate this important milestone before they embark on whatever's next. But before you do, browse through these high school graduation gifts to find a special way to send 'em off.

Pour your heart into one of these incredibly thoughtful graduation gifts for him or her. While there are a few practical picks and dorm room essentials down below, we've also gathered an assortment of gift ideas that'll tap into your sentimental side (parents, wipe away your tears and start scrolling). We've even got some great last-minute options that aren't in the form of a gift card. Whatever you do, don't overthink it and just go with something that best expresses just how happy you are for them (and well, how sad you are that they're leaving the nest). No matter what you choose in the end, pair your present with a heartfelt graduation card a.k.a. another excuse to spell out your pride.

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Ideal Last-Minute Gift
Annual Membership
Master Class

Now is an important time in their lives as they decide what they want to do and who they want to be. Indulge any hobby or interest of theirs with a Master Class membership, where they can learn more from the best of the best.

Especially Sweet Coming From Her Parents
Actual Handwriting Bracelet

Grab a piece of paper and jot down a short (but seriously sweet) message to your grad. Then snap a photo and send it to this Etsy maker, who will turn it into a dainty gold, rose gold or silver bracelet.

Monogrammed Laundry Bag

Now there will be no confusion between roommates as to whose clothes are whose. You can choose from a cream or black laundry bag, and the monogram comes in more than 45 colors.

Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
Now 28% off

It might be the best time of their life right now, but it can also be a little stressful. Help them unwind with this set of shower steamers, which will instantly turn any shower into a spa-like experience.

Keep Her Hands Free
Crossbody Cell Phone Purse
Now 38% off

When she doesn't need her laptop and books, she can ditch her backpack and carry around the essentials — her phone, school ID, keys and money — in this faux leather crossbody. Stick with a versatile color to match her whole wardrobe or opt for something more statement-worthy (think: purple or pink).

RELATED: Great Gifts to Buy the Woman In Your Life

For Your Niece or Nephew
Instant Print Camera

What's old is new again ... and cool! This camera, which comes in a bunch of colors, will instantly print any photo they take. If they love hanging photos of their friends on their bedroom wall, this will be an instant hit.

Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets have been said to have a calming effect, which is especially important if they're leaving home for the first time. If this is your first time buying a weighted blanket, here's a trick: Follow the guide to find the perfect blanket weight for your grad's body weight.

PowerCore 20100 Charger

She'll need some extra juice to keep her devices alive during a long day of classes. This one, in particular, only takes one charge to give her devices new life on seven different occasions.

"She Believed She Could, so She Did" Bracelet

Boost her mood even when you're miles away with this inspirational bracelet from MantraBand. Available in silver, gold or rose gold, this adjustable bangle is the perfect companion as she chases after her dreams.

Mini Projector

Even if their dorm room doesn't have room for a TV, they can hook their smartphone, laptop or iPad up to this projector to project movies or TV shows onto any blank wall. When they're not using it, they can just stick it in their backpack or tuck it away under their bed.

Creative Gift Alert!
Graduation Party Gift Box

If you live far away from your grad, ship this themed care package, complete with a luggage tag, mini candle, cake in a jar and pouch of confetti, straight to her door. It'll show up ready to be gifted, even personalized with her name and graduation year.

Hatch Restore

They thought their smartphone alarm was good enough, but that was before they met Hatch. Not only will it gently wake them up with a sunrise alarm clock, but it also offers different light options (a soft glow for late-night studying, for example), soothing sounds and white noise.

Plush Robe
Seven Apparel
Seven Apparel

Perfect for cozying up in the dorm or walking to the showers, this best-selling robe is available in seven colors, ranging from light pink to bright red.

Filter Heart Snapshot Mix

Commemorate their best high school memories with this heart-shaped collage from Minted. Carve out time to do some digging on their Instagram or Facebook for photos before you place your order.

Laundry Symbol Chart Art Print
Good Housekeeping

Soon, you won't be there to answer their hard-hitting laundry Qs. Frame this print, so they can hang it up and give it a once-over when they're not sure what their shirt's care tag is telling them.

Quarterly Subscription Box

The best gifts are the ones that continue to give all year long. This quarterly subscription box will arrive at her door at the start of every season with trendy beauty, fashion, fitness and wellness products at a fraction of the price.

Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper

It's no secret that those Twin XL's aren't exactly comfortable. With three inches of gel memory foam, this topper will make their bed feel more like a pillow and less like a brick.

RELATED: Top-Rated Mattress Toppers, According to Textile Scientists

Travel Cord Roll
Brouk and Co.

They've got a laptop, smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, and just about every other gadget you can think of. Help them keep all of their cords and cables under control with this carrying case, which is small enough to stash in their backpack when it's all rolled up.

You Got This Bracelet

This wearable reminder will encourage her on the days she needs it most. It'll even offer just the right amount of sparkle and shine against her watch, bangles or other bracelets.

Personalized Leather Keychain
Amazon Handmade
Northwind Supply

It'll be much easier to keep track of their keys once they attach them to a leather keychain. Pick from three hardware types and eight leather colors, then personalize it with their name or initials.

Brushed Microfiber Sheet Set
Now 25% off

They'll need a fresh set of sheets for a dorm bed — size Twin XL, of course. Enter this budget-friendly, cooling sheet set, which comes in a range of pretty colors to match their new bedspread.

Gold Foil Map

They'll never forget the place that made them who they are, especially when it's plastered on the wall for all to see. Pick from any of the major U.S. cities or if your nearest city isn't on the list, message the Etsy seller for a custom order.

Hug In a Box
Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods

Sometimes, they need a physical reminder of your love. When they give this heart-shaped token a squeeze, they'll feel your support from miles away.

What Do You Meme?
What Do You Meme?

This Cards Against Humanity-esque game serves as the ultimate icebreaker for anyone who loves memes — a.k.a. everyone in their freshmen dorm.

Pay Extra to Personalize It
Personalized Shower Caddy
Mark & Graham
Mark & Graham

Ah, the joy of communal bathrooms. If they have to deal with 'em for the next year or two, at least they'll be able to carry around their shower necessities in this striped tote, complete with mesh pockets and custom embroidery.

Rambler 20 oz Tumbler

Take her daily coffee habit up a notch with this tumbler. Because of its vacuum seal construction, the 20 oz. cup can keep drinks hot or ice cold until the very last sip.

Pillow Slides
Now 33% off

Because shower shoes are a must whether they're living in a dorm or going to the gym. This pair, which also comes in a dozen colors, will keep their feet healthy while still looking cool enough to wear out and about.

Small Gift, Big Impact
Calm the Chaos Journal
Chronicle Books
Now 33% off

There's no ifs, ands and buts about it: Life can be chaotic at times. As they settle in to this new chapter in their life, they can make sense of the chaos by following daily prompts to encourage them to find gratitude, kindness and serenity in everyday moments.

If Your Son or Daughter Is Moving Away
Lovebox Spinning Heart Messenger
Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods

No matter where life takes them, they'll always feel your love — especially when they see the heart spinning on this little wooden box. Wait, there's more: Once the heart starts to spin, open the lid to reveal a special message sent by a loved one.

A Great Option for Him
Laptop Backpack
Now 40% off

An all-black backpack screams "adult," doesn't it? This one has plenty of space to store his textbooks, notebooks and 15" laptop (separate sleeve included), plus the polyester exterior is waterproof and stain-resistant.

RELATED: Standout Gifts for Men

Personalized Tumbler

She doesn't have to skimp on style to keep hydrated as long as she has this adorable tumbler, customized with her name in an assortment of cup and vinyl colors.

"Why I Miss You" Fill-In-the-Love Book

This gift will have more meaning later on, especially once your grad moves away from home. Think of all the reasons why life is better together, and write them down in this heartfelt gift. Cue the tears.

Their New Desk Buddy
Essential Oil Diffuser

Since candles are off limits in dorms and on-campus housing, essential oil diffusers are the next best thing. This beauty is disguised as a small ceramic cactus, so it can blend in with the rest of their space.

Eileen French Press
Now 27% off

French press coffee makers are perfect for late-night study sessions when the dining hall is closed. To caffeinate, just add some hot water and coffee grounds — no outlets necessary.

Custom Coordinates Necklace

Remind her that no matter where she goes, she'll always be close to home. Get the coordinates of your grad's favorite spot engraved on this necklace in your choice of silver, gold, or rose gold. You can also add a message on the back, plus choose the length of the chain.

Determined to Rise Notebook
Erin Condren
Erin Condren

When she's in the thick of it (read: under piles of textbooks and papers), she may need a reminder of just how powerful she is. The cover of this notebook will tell her exactly that.

Personalized Leather Bookmark

They just closed one chapter, but they're about to embark on the next one — literally and figuratively speaking. Engrave this bookmark with a popular quote from their favorite author to encourage them to lean into the journey ... and ya know, actually read their textbooks.

Get One for All of Your Friends
Geo Moon Light Sculpture
Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters

Light up their new space — literally — with this twinkling crescent moon. The best part: It's battery-powered, so they can hang it anywhere they please.

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