5 gifts new graduates will actually use
Shopping for a new grad doesn't have to be a daunting task
There's one thing most new high school graduates want: money. You could tape it to roadkill and leave it dangling on their parents' porch light and they'd still be grateful. But there is a certain inelegance and lack of intimacy in just handing someone a wad of cash (no matter how much they may want it). If you want to give your graduate something practical to help them find their feet in the world, Amazon offers many options that will help you do just that.
(Editor's note: The Week has affiliate partnerships with certain retailers and may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.)
If your grad thinks nearly all his household and hygiene needs can be taken care of with a roll of paper towels and some dish soap, having basic goods delivered to his door might be a great way to help him be less disgusting. With recurring deliveries from Amazon, you can select and send a stockpile of (healthy!) food, medicine, hygiene products, and yes, paper towels, at regular intervals to whatever address you choose. Products or delivery dates can be changed whenever needed.
Textbook prices for college classes are even more devastating than you remember. Even the lower level classes have texts that run upwards of $200. And of course, the true misery of it all is that your student (like you did before her) will only refer to that textbook about four times during the term, and then guiltily keep the 40-pound Joy of Microeconomics for the next 10 years. No more! Amazon offers a large selection of common textbooks, both the actual book, with free shipping on returns, or an e-book. And, at the end of the semester, if the student believes the book will help them in the future, there's an option to purchase.
If it pains you to think of your student sitting all alone in a pile of IKEA furniture parts and Swedish pictographs, Amazon might be able to help. Enter your student's zip code and you can find, review, and pay for many home services that you're no longer there to help with, from plumbing to pest control. While growing up involves learning a lot of unpleasant lessons, finding someone to fix (and money to pay for) a burst pipe the night before finals doesn't necessarily have to be one of them.
4. Gift cards
Gift cards are much classier than cash. You can pick a design, and maybe even a cute box to put your card in. In many cases, you no longer even need a card, just a code downloaded to your student's phone. It also allows you a chance to show your student that you know him well enough to know which stores he frequents the most. Besides a general "Amazon" card, the site allows you to purchase gift cards from other businesses, ensuring your student can continue to enjoy the finest in foods, films, and in-home diversion.
5. Cash mazes
All right, fine. Get them the cash. But at least make them work for it, so they appreciate it more. Amazon offers pages of frustrating cash mazes. Some choices will even leave the recipient with a neat puzzle box, good for keeping tiny treasures away from snooping roommates.