Mayhem & Margaritas

20 Awesome Budget Friendly High School Graduation Gifts-what they really want

It’s that time of year again, Graduation season. Give them what they really want! Budget friendly and all found on Amazon.

Nothing is more exciting for Seniors and their families, than graduation day. Before you know it the invitations to celebrate with them will be arriving. What do you get them as a gift? Of course cash is always appreciated, with gift cards coming in a close second. But what if you want to give the deserving graduate a physical gift? As a parent who has been down this road, I’ve created the ultimate guide for graduation gifts of what they really want. These graduation gifts will actually get taken with them to college and used, guaranteed!

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If you give a graduate a gift card

They will buy….


These LED light strips are one of the most wanted items for every dorm room. When visiting any college you will find these in every dorm room. This is the #1 item every college kid will purchase before leaving for school. They are the perfect uni-sex, one size fits all, graduation gift for under $40.


Dorm room wall decor is topping the list of every college student’s must-have list. These are two great options that will be appreciated, you can’t go wrong with either. The classic SATURDAYS ARE FOR THE BOYS or SATURDAYS ARE FOR THE GIRLS, are pretty must requirements for dorm room walls. If you want to be a little more fun, grab a STUDENT ATHLETE flag. For under $20 each, grab both!


I’ve never seen a college girl who doesn’t take selfies with her besties without a BOHEMIAN TAPESTRY backdrop. There are so many different colors and patterns to choose from. Go simple, or go bold, just be sure to go grab one for your grad!


Speaking of selfies, I can not recommend this item more! Whether your grad is into taking the best selfie, creating the picture perfect TikToc, or just looking to have better online lighting for Zoom sessions, an LED RING LIGHT will score you big points.


A weighted blanket might not be an item that would normally come to mind when thinking of graduation gifts, but this is one item to be placed in the must-have category. There’s nothing more comforting than a WEIGHTED BLANKET. College kids will have many stressful days and nights, give them a cozy, comforting, weighted blanket to relax under. Pro-Tip purchase one with a washable cover, as picked for you in this link. One word…College!


Every college student is issued a dorm room desk, yet most prefer doing their assignments lounging in their bed. Lap-desks have come along way, now with an integrated mouse pad and cell phone holder, this LAPTOP LAP-DESK is a perfect gift for any studious grad. Pair it with a BACKREST PILLOW and you have killer graduation gifts!


Help your favorite grad be the hit of the party or outdoor activity on campus. PARTY SPEAKERS are portable, wireless, and bluetooth compatible. They bring the energy to any event. Party speakers are almost a requirement for college life. A fantastic gift under $80.


If practical is your theme this year for gift giving, you can’t go wrong with a luxurious set of soft BATH TOWELS. These absorbent and oversized bath towels are a perfect gift. With 12 colors to choose from in this line, there’s something for everyone. Pro-tip, avoid white! You can really dress this gift up by tying them in coordinating ribbon and put them in a LAUNDRY BASKET, then add a box of TIDE PODS. Graduation gifts from the laundry gods.


HAMMOCKS are a super fun college item, and surprisingly more popular than you can believe. On a nice day you can find several hammocks tied to trees for student chill sessions. They are a great way to hang with your friends, enjoy the fresh air and decompress. So if you have an outdoorsy graduate on your gift list, grab them a hammock.


Impress your favorite grad with knowing one of the hottest items in graduation gift giving, a long-board. A hot item found cruising all over any college campus. The LONG-BOARD is a great way to get to classes or just around campus in style. It’s a total vibe!


If your graduate is a coffee lover, the KEURIG K-SLIM is a must! Keurig has streamlined their original model with the K-slim, making it super convenient for the limited space of dorm rooms, while still using traditional K-cups. A fantastic item to have for early morning classes or late sleepers.


If you want to show your favorite graduate that you were thinking of them personally, this CUSTOM PICTURE FRAME is the answer. This frame can be customized with gender, hair style and color, skin color, and school cap and gown color. A great gift item to commemorate the special day of graduation.


If your graduate is traveling to school or taking a celebratory getaway, this WRANGLER LUGGAGE set is perfection. With built in USB charging capabilities, cup holder, and hard exterior shell, it’s the ultimate carry on luggage.


The hottest Christmas gift of 2020, is now this year’s hottest graduation gift. The COMFY is the wearable snuggle-fest both boys and girls are loving this year. There is no need for students to be strolling across campus wrapped in the comforter off their bed (yes this happens every morning) when they have a Comfy.


Long gone are the days of photomats and waiting for your pictures to be developed. A lot of times pictures stay stuck on your camera roll but sometimes they are just so good you want an actual print to hang up or frame. For that, the KODAK MINI PHOTO PRINTER is an awesome gift. Take photos and print them instantly to hang in the dorm room. This bundle deal comes with the mini photo printer, photo paper, and protective case for storage.


Another practical, yet must-have item on the graduation gifts list, is a WEATHER PROOF BACKPACK. This Swissdigital backpack is TSA friendly, water resistant, has a USB charging port, and holds up to a 15.6 inch laptop – making it the all around perfect campus backpack.


Franklin’s WASHER TOSS is the ultimate campus activity. It’s portable, lightweight, and comes with 2 tournament sized washer targets and 6 steel washers. Perfect for tailgating parties or just some friendly any-day competition with friends. If you decide to gift this washer toss game, it’s most likely going to be opened and played at the graduation party you give it at!


Unless your grad already knows everything….oh wait! These humorous yet informational college hack books are a great gift. Packed with insight they make a great gift in themselves, but maybe you’re looking for a small inexpensive add-on to a gift card or cash, wrap it up with one of these books. THE NAKED ROOMMATE, COLLEGE HACKS, or ULTIMATE DINING HALL HACKS, are all fantastic choices!


I know I said budget friendly, and APPLE AIRPODS might not be friendly for everyone, but I wouldn’t be completely honest with you (I did say what they really want) if I didn’t mention them. If your graduate doesn’t already have airpods and you have the budget, GET THEM! Airpods are one of the best, most versatile items for any student. Not only are they amazing for the obvious wireless music/podcast listening, they also allow students to participate in online classes without disturbing their roomates, and are so convenient for hands free phone calls.


This is one of the BEST graduation gifts EVER! YETI is the ultimate splurge item. Yes, there are comparable brands out there, but when it comes to special graduation gifts, go with the original YETI RAMBLER! This one size fits all, timeless, eco-friendly tumbler will be used for years to come. It pairs excellently with a set of STAINLESS STEEL REUSABLE STRAWS for the environmental enthusiast. It also makes an unbelievable gift box for gift cards or any other small item you are gifting. There are over 15 colors to choose from in this line, all under $35.

But, if you should decide TO GIVE A GRADUATE A GIFT CARD, consider dressing it up in a unique graduation cap GIFT BOX. Let your generous gift stand out with it’s unique presentation!


4 thoughts on “20 Awesome Budget Friendly High School Graduation Gifts-what they really want”

    1. Thank you so much! This guide was authentically written with the guidance and suggestions of current college students. With the use of computers and cell phones only rising, I think everyone should have these LED ring lights!

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