Eighteen years ago it was 2001, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the BIGGEST movie of the year. TRL ruled the airwaves on MTV, and Apple introduced its first-ever iPod. 2001 was also the year that most of the seniors who will be graduating this month were born. Thousands of Central Florida seniors will participate in senior walkouts and emotional graduation ceremonies this summer. They’ll drive around Orlando with their tassels hanging in their rearview mirrors and “Class of 2019” written on their car windows. It is a significant milestone for students in local high schools such as Windermere High, Dr. Phillips High, Olympia High, West ‘Orange High, Ocoee High, Apopka High, and TFA. If you know a senior graduating this month, consider some of these unique graduation gift ideas that they can actually use.
For many high school seniors, their next big adventure is college. Whether they are staying local and attending Valencia or UCF, or are heading far away from home, college is a big deal. Seniors who have already decided where they are going will be excited to represent their new school with logo apparel and decor. Maybe it’s a hat, t-shirt, sweatshirt, leggings, or even fuzzy socks that represent their new school. A first-year college student can never have too many comfy college t-shirts.
Life is about to get a whole lot crazier as students spread their wings and get their first real taste of independence. A daily planner can help them get in the habit of writing things down, keeping track of deadlines, and managing their schedules. The KitLife boutique in Downtown Winter Garden has a wide selection of colorful daily, weekly, and monthly planners to choose from, most of which are decked out in soft floral and pastel colors. For something a little more masculine, check Target or Amazon.
While luggage may not be the most exciting graduation present; it can definitely be the most practical. High-end luggage can make it easier for seniors to get all of their belongings from home to their new campus, and will also come in handy when they come home for visits. Luggage that is durable, light-weight and easy to carry will make the transition to college life (and all future road trips) much easier.
Let’s be honest; most of us got through college with the help of a lot of coffee. Instead of spending the equivalent of their college tuition on coffee, students who have coffee makers, French presses, espresso makers and other coffee related items can have quick and free access to coffee. The Driftwood Market has a lot of adorable coffee related items that will help students make it through early morning classes and late night study sessions.
High school grads always appreciate gift cards for restaurants and entertainment. But gift cards towards more practical things like gas, public transportation, or even groceries can help make the transition from high school to college a little more manageable. If your senior is moving to a place where they will be using public transportation, consider purchasing a MetroCard or bus pass to help them get where they need to go.
If a senior could only bring one thing with them to college, they’d probably pick their phone. Their phone is their connection to their new classmates, teachers, friends, and family back home. Their phone is what they’ll use to post pictures of their college adventures, to check emails, and sometimes to study. That is why a portable phone charger can be such a great graduation gift idea. They won’t need to look for the table in the library closest to an outlet to make sure their phones are charged. And if they need to call you late at night for an emergency, a dead phone battery will never prevent them from doing so. Portable phone chargers are not only convenient, but can also help keep phones powered, and communication lines open.
Being away from home for the first time can be quite the transition. Sometimes, having a little souvenir from home can help homesick students feel more connected to friends and family back home. Driftwood Market in Winter Garden has quite the collection of locally inspired artwork and decor, the perfect addition to a new apartment or dorm room.
The class of 2019 has big things in store for them, and their completion of high school is a big deal. Whether they go off to college, start their own businesses, go to trade school, get married and have kids, or just travel the world for a bit, this year’s graduating class will undoubtedly change our city and the world.
The Erica Diaz Team would like to congratulate the Class of 2019! Go out there and be the change you want to see in the world!