Three Great Gifts for High School Graduates

Celebrate someone’s progression into adulthood with something they’ll appreciate and use for the foreseeable future.

Young people who graduate from high school are taking that first turn onto the entrance ramp of adulthood. They’re leaving a lot of their former “kid life” behind—but not all of it—when they join the workforce or enter college. That’s why getting a gift for a high-school graduate can be tricky. You don’t want to get something goofy or juvenile that, say, some 12-year-old would enjoy, but you do want to give a gift that will be liked and appreciated. Here are three gifts that any high-school graduate can use to help navigate that ride out of childhood.

Good Backpack

North Face’s Jester backpack is available in 26 colors and patterns, has two bottle holders and well- padded shoulder straps. Amazon

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When was the last time you saw a young person with a briefcase who wasn’t Michael J. Fox playing Alex P. Keaton on an episode of Family Ties? Backpacks are legion because they double as book bags, gym bags, handbags, overnight bags, and even pockets. That graduate was probably using a backpack in high school, but a new one is reflective of that step into adulthood. Make sure you get a backpack with good padding and water bottle holders.

Echo Dot for Alexa

Amazon’s Echo Dot enables the owner to use the Alexa virtual assistant, which provides answers to spoken questions, plays requested music, and can turn lights and other devices on and off. Amazon

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A smart speaker, which carries out commands you give simply by speaking out loud, is a convenience that soon becomes a helpful, time-saving, technological device—and what young person doesn’t like tech? You can ask virtual assistant Alexa, which is enabled by the Echo Dot device, to wake you up at a certain time, remind you to do something, play music from a music provider, get a quick weather forecast, provide sports score updates, turn lights and other electronic devices on and off, and thousands of other tasks. The Echo Dot is synched to the owner’s Amazon account, which makes ordering products easy after set up—and can be easily protected with a security code to prevent others from using it for that purpose if it’s set up in a place where others may have access to it.

RFID Wallet

A RFID-blocking wallet prevents an owner from losing their information to sneaky, tech-savvy thieves. Amazon

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The convenience of credit and debit cards that have Radio Frequency Identification Chips embedded in them, making for quick and easy transactions, comes at a potential cost: theft. Modern pickpockets use card readers to obtain the information from those cards simply by holding the reader close to someone’s purse or wallet. That high-school graduate is only going to obtain more credit and debit cards in the coming years, making an RFID-blocking wallet a smart investment. Such wallets are made in both men’s and women’s styles.