As Filipinos we value education and we equate it to having a better future ahead.
This is the reason why graduation day is something that both parents and students look forward to. It is also a good reason to spend a little more for that special graduation gift to mark the important milestone of your child or relative.
To save you some time in planning and scouting for gift ideas, here are some classic and practical gift ideas for your college-bound loved ones.
A watch is such a timeless jewelry. Mobile phones and other gadgets may also be able to tell time but a watch symbolizes a passage to more adult responsibilities – being in charge of one’s own time.
Managing time wisely, learning to prioritize, fixing own schedule, arriving on time for classes and appointments (without a mom to remind or nag) are all of the small little things these adolescents need to master, aside from their courses, to make sure they are ready for the future ahead of them.
A luggage is another gift idea that graduates will appreciate. It may be a symbol of becoming independent – moving out and taking care of own needs like preparing meals and doing laundry.
Moving out to live in college dorms can be an emotional thing for everyone but having a sturdy and stylish luggage should be one less thing to worry about, and here is where your gift comes in.
For those who are not living in dorms, it can still be a good idea to use the luggage for travelling. Travelling is another way for teenagers to learn more about the world, something they will not learn in the classrooms.
Ways to connect
Mobile phones and smart phones can be a very helpful tool for college-bound teens. With these gadgets, they can keep in touch with family members, connect with classmates, communicate with their professors and receive school-related updates.
Some smart phone users can also take advantage of different features and apps to help with their studies and address some of the parent’s anxiety over their safety away from home.
Or you can buy them a semester worth of prepaid cards so they do not have to worry about on the first term. Just make sure they know that you are not buying it for them for the next term so they have to learn to save for it.
Wi-Fi Dongle are also great gifts for people who grew up with the Internet. As Internet hotspots may not be as common in most places in the Philippines, a Wi-Fi dongle may be the solution for teens on the go. This will help them stay connected and to keep that constant need for information satisfied.
The Internet is another means to get their homework done but make sure to teach them about Internet safety and proper social media etiquette.
Old fashioned journal
Teenagers this era are mostly bloggers and they blog about everything using different social media platforms. However, they can also get something from writing about their new and exciting college life in a good, old fashioned journal.
Here they can talk about their top secret projects, aspirations they do not want to share to the world yet and emotions they are not sure what to call or how to process.
Living in a dorm is like moving house and there are a lot of things that graduates need to make a nest out of their new place. There are several things you can help buy as a gift or fund using gift certificates or cash gift for things like beddings, bath essentials, office supplies and other college gear.
You can complement you gift cheque or cash gift with a simple key holder or a small purse for teens to put small items like keys, USB sticks, coins and other things that may easily get lost.
An alarm clock is also a great idea for sleepy heads. Mobile phones have their own alarm clock installed but the thing is, most alarm clock in phones will not work if the battery dies in the middle of the night. Most batteries in alarm clock last for several months or even a year.
A desk top computer or laptop is now an indispensable tool for college students. Almost everything can be done in computers from taking notes to making homework, completing projects and making presentations.
Extra batteries for computer gadgets would also be a big help.
Umbrellas and jackets
Can you count how many umbrellas you had back in college? Umbrellas can get lost pretty easily either by being misplaced or broken.
It is one of those things that college students use frequently in the Philippines, probably next to pens and notebooks.
Help open a bank account
If your newly graduate loved one does not have his/her own bank account yet, it is high time to start one.
Having an own account can help teach teenagers about the value of money and the importance of saving it for the rainy days.
It can also help facilitate faster cash transfers both from local and abroad. Although we want to encourage college students to be self-sufficient, sometimes, there are unexpected projects and other class related expenses that crop up. It helps if they can receive their allowance in a fast, and safe way for everyone’s peace of mind.
As clichés go, graduations are not endings but a beginning of a new chapter in the life of our young graduates. No matter what gift you give your loved ones on this day, the most important thing is to celebrate this milestone by showing them how proud you are of their accomplishment and that you will continue to support their endeavors in the future.
Cheers to the last Senior High School batch of 2016!Special thanks to The Atlantic for the main image.