Celebrating Commencement: A Graduation Gift Guide
The school year is coming to an end. Summer is around the corner... Ah, this bittersweet season that is graduation is upon us. If you are nearing the end of high school, college, or university, you may recognize the sentimentality. Although I still have one more year of university, convocation is on my mind. My brother and some of my closest friends are graduating, and social media seem to be buzzing with pictures of students decked out in caps and gowns.
Whether graduation is an emotional occasion or a celebration of freedom, it is a meaningful ceremony for all students. Completing a degree is a huge achievement, and it serves as a time to appreciate all the hard work students have put into their years of schooling. Since commencement is such an important milestone, it can be difficult to show how proud you are. As I search for presents for my brother and friends, I want to find things that aren't cliche and fit their personalities and interests well. Considering this year's graduates have just spent years focusing on their degrees, it's safe to say that their choice of major has made a significant impact on their lives. If you are at a loss of what to give a recent grad, their university program may give you some inspiration.
Do you picture an english major as a scarf-wearing hipster reading books and drinking black coffee in a trendy coffee shop? Giving them a Hemingway book is almost as cliché as the stereotype, but a gift that helps foster their passion for reading and writing is never a bad idea.
Chemistry majors have spent four years (or more) mixing chemicals, conducting complicated calculations, and generally studying things that I don't understand. Whatever you do, don't gift them a copy of the Breaking Bad series – you wouldn't want to give them the wrong idea of a good potential career path. However, chemistry inspired glasses will remind them of their organic chemistry skills without committing a felony.
With rising temperatures, climate change, and controversy over the Paris agreement, environmental science majors may be overwhelmed with how quickly the world is falling apart. Try not to remind them of this reality with your graduation present – a little piece of nature they can display in their home might be a far more comforting.
An art major may feel discouraged by the possibility of becoming a so-called starving artist upon graduation. Inspire them to become the next Georgia O'Keefe with a creative gift to get their artistic juices flowing.
While math class evokes strong emotional responses in some students, these superstars have indeed conquered this challenging major. However, don't assume their degree has made them boring. Their love for solving differential equations doesn't make them any less fun.
With a major requiring a mix of math skills, critical thinking, and creativity, these budding Frank Lloyd Wrights have proven they have a wide range of talents. Try giving a gift that puts these abilities to the test, such as a set of architectural building blocks that will let them mix work and play.
If the graduate you're shopping for is a little bit younger than the typical university grad, we still have you covered. Let's be honest – graduating from kindergarten probably feels more important to kids and their parents than high school or university ever could.
Gifting goodies to the graduates in your life is wonderful, but remember gift giving is only one of the many ways to show you care. Make any of these gifts even more meaningful by spending some quality time with your new alumni, showing your support as they start a new chapter of their lives. If you are in the Toronto area, take a scenic hike through the Scarborough Bluffs, try an escape game at Casa Loma, or have a night out at Friday Night Live at the ROM. If you are a recent or soon-to-be graduate yourself, this can also be a time for you to reflect on the past few years and how they have shaped you. Take some time to consider what you have learned, how you have grown, and what your goals are for the future. If you are in the area, come into Room 2046, have a coffee, and do some journalling. If not, one of the journals from our online store may spike your imagination.