Student Life | Graduation | May 2012’s best graduation gifts 2012

By Taylor Cotter | For

Graduation Gifts! Coming from a big family, college graduation is thrilling for both my family and me. When I graduated this past week from Northeastern University, I only asked for one type of graduation gift: cash. With student loan payments looming, nothing could help me more than an advance on paying my new bills. When I heard about college gift registries, I was surprised: what could college grads need that they couldn’t pay for with cash? Actually – a lot! Many of these items are first on my post-grad “wish” list. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most requested – and most original – grad gifts for 2012 college or high school graduates. None of these appeal to you or your grad? Don’t worry – cash, gift cards and even savings bonds are always appreciated.


1. Native Union Pop Phone ($30)

If your grad, like me, prefers to have a phone conversation than video chat (how else can you eat a sandwich or paint your nails while keeping in touch with your friends?) the Native Union Pop Phone is the perfect gift – even our Editor-in-Chief refuses to leave home without it. The POP phone is a retro handset that will remind your grad to call home and keep in touch – they can even have access to their apps and texting while they have a conversation! Not to mention the Pop Phone has been spotted in the hands of celebrities like Eva Longoria, Lenny Kravitz, Anderson Cooper and Janet Jackson.
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2. Livescribe Smartpen ($99 - 180)

I won’t lie – there are times during my early morning classes where I opted-out of taking notes and instead, opened my laptop and recorded a professor’s lecture that I planned to go back and listen to later. There are also countless times where I meticulously recorded every sample problem and formula, but when it came time to study, I was missing crucial details from a lecture.

The Livescribe Smartpen is the perfect gift for a student who is a visual and auditory learner. While taking notes, the pen records the lecture. When you go back to study your notes, you can play the audio from the lecture out of a speaker on the pen. If you just want to hear a certain part of the lecture, tap the pen on the word you were writing – the pen will play what the professor was saying at the moment you wrote it! I especially suggest the Livescribe Smartpen for journalism majors, like myself. When conducting interviews, this tool will make sure that you never misquote or misattribute a source!
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3. Umbra Pongo Ping Pong Game ($40)

If you have a college grad moving into their own apartment, the Umbra Pongo Ping Pong Game offers an alternative to getting a large ping pong table! The set includes two ping pong paddles with retractable handles, portable net, and two ping pong balls, giving your grad an opportunity to relieve some stress or spend time with friends without the expense or inconvenience of an actual ping pong table. But this isn’t just for students because if you get to work at a place like StudentAdvisor you will be a part of many ping pong competitions using this set.
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4. Mophie Powerstation ($80)

The Mophie Powerstation is the perfect gift for any graduating student with a texting, Twitter, or Facebook addiction. A mobile battery pack that can charge an iPhone or iPad up to 300 times, the Mophie Powerstation is one of the most powerful external battery sources available on the market and it can be used for any USB enabled device. If your grad spends a lot of time working or traveling, this will provide them a much-needed power boost, keeping them constantly connected.
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5. Victorinox Swiss Army Slim USB ($40)

For a great grad gift for a guy, Swiss Army, the brand known for tools to survive in the woods, is now offering a tool to survive in the modern tech world. The Slim USBs are encrypted and unhackable. Offered in a variety of colors, this is the perfect gift for a student looking for a discrete and cool way to carry files around campus.
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6. Monogrammed Portfolio ($60)

When your new grad goes on their first job interviews, they may be fumbling over the best way to carry their resumes, writing samples, or other information. New grads often struggle in their transformation to professional life, so make it easier by giving them a portfolio to carry their important documents. To add a personal touch, ComfortHouse offers the opportunity to monogram their leather portfolios, available in four different colors.
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7. Vera Bradley All in One Wristlet ($35)

This is a must-have item for any graduating high school girl. While you’re used to toting around your backpack or purse, that’s often a little much for just a quick trip to the dining hall or to visit another dorm. The All in One wristlet has a cell phone pocket, room for your college ID, cards and money – everything a freshman girl needs. It’s one of the most convenient accessories and can easy hook on to a backpack or bigger bag. I had one of these all through college and highly recommend it!
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8. Energizer® iSurge Smartphone Charging Station ($40 - 60)

Whether on the road or at home – Apple® enthusiasts will love the all-in-one convenience of the new Energizer® iSurge Travel Charging Station. The new charger features three Surge Protected AC outlets, 1 – One Amp USB Charging Port and an Apple® certified – 30 pin charging dock for simultaneous charging of iMacs, iPads, and iPhones plus a wide range of other devices. It can power up to five devices at once, making it ideal for rooms with limited accessible outlets and the wall plug rotates 180 degrees. The compact design includes a built-in Nightlight with an On / Off switch, is FCC & ETL Certified, available in White or Black with a MSRP of $59.99.
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9. Dorm Co. Plush Comforter ($60 – 90)

If a comforter could go to college, it would. Our College Plush Comforter sized Twin XL is dying to attend University, and it has all the qualifications of a top-notch college comforter. First, there is the extra soft outer shell that feels divine. Then, there's the extra plush interior that gives cozy a new meaning. After trying out this amazing College Plush Comforter, any other comforter simply won't do. The College Plush Comforter is perfect for any twin or twin XL size dorm bed and is made for dorm room life. The impressively comfortable nature of this comforter deserves collegiate notice! If Dorm Co could develop the technology to let you touch this comforter through the computer we would. This Twin XL comforter is guaranteed to make your dorm bed a place of pure comfort!
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10. Cash or a Gift Card

This way your favorite graduate can get anything they might want.

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