When your friends graduate next week, it may be difficult to gift them without breaking the bank.
If you’re trying to keep a low budget, you can grab these gifts for under $30 for all types of friends. Help them relax after flipping the tassel or ease into their new living space with purchases you can get around the District and online.
For the friend who needs to de-stress
We all know a graduate who took every internship opportunity, joined multiple student organizations and picked up a part-time job along the way. Whatever it was, they likely need some activities to help them cool down after a busy four years. Help them alleviate their stress with a gift card to the Crumbs and Whiskers kitten lounge in Georgetown. The Instagramable shop, which opened in March and will close in June, features about 25 kittens up for adoption and a cafe. Gift cards start at $25.
If your friend is not a fan of cats, allow them to revisit their youth with an adult coloring book ($8.78). Coloring will give your friend a break from the stress of adulthood and help them focus on coloring between the lines. You can complement the gift with a set of colored pencils or markers.
For the foodie
As seniors transition out of GWorld-funded meals, jumpstart their kitchen with a reusable to-go bowl ($26) or a set of travel silverware ($14) from Anthropologie. For the coffee fanatic, grab them a Yeti tumbler ($29.99) with vacuum suction that will keep their drink warm for hours if they are on their way to a new job or traveling.
Some seniors may have had a kitchen for most of their college careers but never cooked a homemade meal. Help them prepare meals after graduation with a Trader Joe’s cookbook ($8.02) featuring recipes like a pizza with sauteed vegetables and mushroom melange or green curry stir-fry with wild caught shrimp. Your friend can also whip up these mouth-watering meals in a graduation-themed Class of 2019 apron ($27.49).
For the friend who needs to organize their life
Your friend might not have a calendar mapping out the rest of their life, but you can help them organize their first year out of college. Grab a productivity journal ($24.95), which includes advice on time efficiency, inspirational quotes and prompts for your friend to reflect and plan. While it’s only a notebook, it may help your friend facilitate work schedules and map out events throughout the week.
But organization also means finding time to relax. As your friend moves into a new, potentially stressful job, consider purchasing the “10% Happier Book” ($11.59) by journalist Dan Harris. Originally a meditation and mindfulness skeptic, Harris wrote the book after he had a panic attack and turned to mindfulness for treatment. The book discusses how to incorporate mindfulness into an everyday routine with prompts and exercises.
For the friend moving into a new space
Remind your friend of their home on campus wherever they are with a D.C.-themed Homesick candle ($29.95) that can be purchased online. Notes of cherry blossom and sandalwood will remind them of walks along the Tidal Basin in the springtime.
For the Netflix and Hulu fanatic who will lose their GW subscription post graduation, purchase your friend a Roku ($29.88). For about $30, your friend can enjoy access to several streaming services, including YouTube and HBO Now, if they already have subscriptions. A Roku could also make it easier for your friend to entertain guests with movies and TV shows on every service in their new home.