It’s the month of May, and soon-to-be-graduated poly students will be having their grad ceremony to officially kick them out of school and into the real world kicking and screaming. So why not give any grad-to-be you know with a gift that will not only remind them (or yourself) that student life is over, and the ‘fun’ adult world begins.
In Japan, schools actually buy their grads graduation gifts – some of these gifts range from the pretty ordinary (mug, handphone stand, etc) to the luxurious (like Tiffany pendants and Chanel makeup). But as schools here don’t have that practice, here are some ideas to get your grad-to-be other than bouquets of flowers with teddy bears:
Student life is over, and the job hunting begins. Along with other adulting issues like sorting out finances, and preparing for life in the working world. Therefore a great gift for fresh grads is the gift of (more) knowledge; you can point them to free online resources like NTU Wee Kim Wee’s project called How To Adult or sign them up for Financial Literacy classes for free here, or you can get them:
Bookstore vouchers: Reading is a good habit to have as a lifelong hobby, and you can get various denominations to suit your pocket from bookstores like Kinokuniya. If you don’t want to seem impersonal with a voucher, here are some books to consider: Ask a Manager (Alison Green) guides you through your first job, The Index Card (Helaine Olen & Harold Pollack) gives you tips on managing your money, and Designing Your Life (Bill Burnett and Dave Evans) for those grads craving a more structured approach to their future.
Getting a smart set of clothes rather than casual student threads is a very practical gift for fresh grads. Of course, it can be too personal to assume that we can actually select the right design and fit for our fellow grads, but here are some options:
Book them a session with the tailor: Getting a bespoke tailored suit (jacket and pants) may sound luxurious, but they don’t have to break the bank. You can get a custom 2-piece suit at $209 and 3-piece suit at $370 at Suit Yourself – surprise your buddy/bf by topping up $50 for a one-time home visit!
Vouchers: If you don’t want to break the bank, you can also consider getting vouchers from shops that have ready-made suits. These include brands like Zara, Uniqlo, and G2000.
Namecard holders: If it’s one thing that signifies the shift from student to professional, it’s the presence of a name card. It’s an easy gift to give since there are so many designs and brands out there to choose from, from bookstore varieties to branded ones like Porter or Moleskin. Go one step further and customise them with a monogram!
Gift of Travel
For many, the best thing to do after graduation is to take a break from it all. What better way to do that than to get out of town for some R&R with friends and family? Here are some gifts to consider:
Travel Gift Cards: If you’re not sure what destination or activity to book, the best option is to get a travel gift card. STA Travel has gift vouchers that’s fully customisable for flights, tours, accommodation and even rail passes. The Klook Gift Card ($50) lets you book holiday activities on its list. Even Scoot has vouchers for flights.
If in doubt…
As with many things, the best gift for a fresh grad is still cash. But if you prefer to seem like you actually thought about a gift rather than just gifting cash, you can always go for vouchers. And there are plenty out there that would be useful to any grad: from Capitaland Vouchers to Giftano (for vouchers for everything from spas to sailing lessons) and Singexperience which has experiences from limo rides to a pop star experience.