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 Homeschool Graduation

6 Great Graduation Gifts for Teens Taking a Gap Year

A gap year is a year between high school graduation and college when young adults travel or work in an effort to identify their personal calling in life. Here are gifts that a homeschool graduate who is taking a gap year is sure to appreciate.

Not all homeschooled teenagers immediately head to college after graduating from high school. It’s becoming more and more common for teenagers to take what’s called a gap year -- a year between high school graduation and entry to college (or some other choice).

Often the teenagers travel or work during this time. The idea is to accumulate more life experience and maturity before going on to advanced education. During this gap year, young adults gain clarity about their life’s purpose and their own talents. Customize your graduation gifts for an upcoming gap year with these suggestions.

1. Luggage

If your teenager is planning on traveling during the gap year, luggage is the perfect gift. After all, sturdy, well-made luggage never goes out of style. Likely your graduating senior doesn’t need a large suitcase, but a small carry on is always useful. The right piece can hold a week’s worth of clothing and necessities while being able to be carried onto the airplane.

A carry on is far less likely than checked luggage to be lost during a trip. After the gap year, the small suitcase can be used for weekend trips to and from college. You can even invest in a set of matching luggage for your high school graduate. While all the pieces may not be used immediately, it’s a wonderful investment for the future.

2. Backpack

Whether or not your teenager is planning on traveling, often they’ll need a good back-pack. Look for a plain, grown-up styled backpack. After all, a good backpack can be used to carry a change of clothing as your teenager travels from home to work or an internship. As many teenagers still bike or ride the bus to and from work, a backpack makes commuting easier.

Good backpacks are also useful while traveling or going on outings with friends. You’ll find your teenager using it on biking or camping trips, or even for social events when they’re heading over to play board games with friends in the evening. The backpack will be used for many years after the gap year is over to carry books on campus.

3. Tablets

Tablets make a wonderful graduation gift for a teenager doing a gap year. Teenagers who are working or traveling aren’t able to easily carry a computer with them all the time, and smartphones are rather small for many tasks. Tablets are large enough to type more comfortably than a smartphone but aren’t nearly as difficult to toss in a backpack, carry-on, or purse as a computer. Tablets are easy to carry to an internship or job. Because you can load the tablets with books to read while traveling or waiting, it makes it easy to carry hundreds of books wherever your teenager goes.

A gap year is a year between high school graduation and college when young adults travel or work in an effort to identify their personal calling in life.

4. Jewelry

Jewelry is always a welcome graduation gift for both teenage boys and girls. Class rings are a beautiful and time honored tradition. Pick out a class ring for your high school graduate in their birthstone with shanks (sides) to represent high school interests and activities. The class ring will be cherished for many years.

Watches also make useful graduation presents. After all, there are times smart phones are not carried, must be put away, or run out of power. A good watch is an elegant time piece and can be engraved for your teenager. Many teenagers also enjoy receiving earrings and necklaces as a high school graduation gift. These can be elegant jewelry with their birthstone or casual jewelry commemorating the graduation year. Whichever piece you choose, it will be treasured for years to come.

5. Books

Physical books are still read and enjoyed by teenagers around the world. Often your teen will have a particular interest or passion they enjoy. Choosing a book on one of these topics makes a wonderful gap year present. If you’re in doubt, think about the activities and hobbies your graduating teenager has enjoyed over the years. These may be sports and outdoor activities, or an interest in birds, knitting, and wood burning. Look for reference books or detailed instruction books for these interests.

6. Gift Cards

If all else fails, consider giving your high school graduate a gift card to local stores. During the gap year many unexpected expenses will pop up. Your teenager will appreciate being able to pop out a gift card to meet these needs without using hard-earned cash. Also there’s something to be said for a gift card to a store for something fun and non-utilitarian such as a game store or a local hobby shop.

With some thought you can find the perfect graduation gift for your teenager taking a gap year. Think about their plans and passions and choose accordingly.

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