H.S. Graduation gift suggestion for the spoiled brat who has everything

Our first born, 17-female, is graduating from high school this May. Gramma asked for suggestions as to a gift and I drew a total blank. As stated in the title, she is a spoiled brat. She has a vehicle (which she won’t drive because she is scared to drive ), wears jewelry very rarely, not a fashion maven, has a computer, went to Italy 2 weeks ago (she paid), has adoring parents who contribute daily to her bratiness. I can honestly think of nothing.

She is planning to attend college this fall, and live on campus. This is a whole other issue (she won’t drive, how does she expect to get there?). What do college type people living on campus need? Microwave oven, dishes??? What? Or should we go with the standard pen and pencil set?

Driving lessons? Another vacation trip somewhere really cool?

If she’s going to be living in a dorm you could get her one of the dorm-size refrigerators. If she’s going to be living in an apartment I would suggest a microwave or other household items. When I graduated (9 years ago) I was already living in my own apartment and my parents bought me a microwave because I didn’t have one. It was a great gift and something I needed.

My dad also gave me a gold necklace with a gold charm… the charm was a cap/gown and had '93 in the middle of it. I didn’t wear a lot of jewelery at that time either but because it was a gift from my dad it was sentimental to me and I wore it all the time. So maybe a nice necklace would be a good gift too.

Driving lessons are on the top of the list. Hell, driving lessons are the only thing on the list. I have tried for two years to teach her, but she makes me too damn nervous. She doesn’t listen well.

" stop, stop STOP!! slow down, slow down, slow down, turn on your signal, get on your side of the street, Yield, it said YEILD, no, stay in your lane, don’t get so close to that car, not so close…"

The 15 year old, OTOH, is doing quite well.

When I graduated HS, my parents bought me a dorm refrigerator and a microwave. The microwave I still have (10 years later), but the dorm refrigerator went to my brother, then sister, a friend, and finally back to my parents. My mom uses it in her classroom to store her lunch.

My mother gave me five hundred dollars when I graduated HS, and a lovely framed photograph of the two of us. The five hundred dollars was to buy what I needed for the trip away to college, (as I was also a spoiled brat, and she had no idea what to buy) and the photogragh was so that I could see her beautiful face every day.

*Sniffles * Hang on, I think I’ve got something in my eye…

If she doesn’t already have one from her trip to Italy, buy a really nice big traveling backpack- the kind with a big pack and a little day pack that zips off and inner framework and hip straps and stuff. She’ll use it on spring and winter break, and any travel she does long after. Additionally, it is a great thing to have in college (especially when you don’t drive) for carrying around laundry and groceries. I use mine so much that inspired almost everyone around me to get one (including my parents) but it is the sort of thing that I’d never have spent the money for on my own.

Another good idea (that my mom did for me) is a cell phone and service for a set amount of time (my mom is paying for three years! goodness!). Once again, especially useful for people that don’t drive (so she can bug all her friends by asking for ride)

A digital camera is another idea. College kids love to take pictures of their friends and stuff, and a digital camera will get rid of the hassle and expense of getting them developed. Plus, college kids are on the Internet all the time, and if she has a regular camera she is probably just going to scan the pictures in anyway so she can share them with her friends.

There are all kinds of things…a DVD drive with a gift certificate to a video store…or a CD-R drive (kids in college live through their computers)…a decent stereo system…None of these are too sentimental, but they are all really useful.

Wow, I am realizing that I am a spoiled brat. Woo-hoo!

Money, gift certificates…
The cell phone is a good idea too

Professional driving lessons. A gift to both of you. She won’t listen to you because your her mother. Maybe she will listen to a stranger.

To be honest, if she’s genuinely a “spoiled brat” whnose parents “contribute to her brattiness,” I’m not sure if giving her more stuff would be a good thing…

The dorm fridge thing is a good idea! Thats pretty much the most usefull thing I ever had in college.

If she can cook, then a 2-3 qt sause pan and maybe a 10-12 inch frying pan would work nicely.

Rice cookers are good, same with air popcorn poppers.

Bartending books are nice too.

If she’s scared to drive then maybe letting her take the car to college isn’t a good idea (if she’s living on campus she probably won’t need it and worst case, not having the car near by will limit the trouble she can get into).

Things vary on the college, but I was perfectly happy with my 4.9 cu ft fridge, popcorn popper, sauce pan and rice cooker. That took care of all of my needs.

(Most dorms have microwaves available for students… that and microwave popcorn is the spawn of satan :slight_smile:

Oh I wouldn’t worry about dishes and what not. Those usually just get stolen from foodservice.

The best HS gradutaion gift I got was a tool kit. It’s a bit dissapointing when you open it up, but man did that thing come in handy.

At some point she is going to need to fix something or put a desk togeher. Then she will realize what a great gift the tool kit was. I thought it was a bad gift at first (being a 17 year old girl) but I soon learned. I just wish I had gotten something girly along with it. A trip to the makeup department at Nordstroms would have been nice.

One of those pre-paid Visa’s would come in handy. She can use that anywhere. And at some point she will need it.

You didn’t mention a price range, but all my suggestions are on the cheaper side.

I second Dagny’s suggestion. Tool kits are a great graduation present, even if they don’t sound very glamorous.

One of the best graduation presents I got was a toaster oven. I used it all the times in the dorms and still use it to this day.

Maybe Grandma could get her a gift certificate to Target. That way she could pick out her own toaster oven/ microwave/ dishes/ etc.

Or what about a gift certificate to her favorite bookstore? That’s certainly collegiate. Maybe Grandma could include with it a copy of her favorite book from when she was The Brat’s age. I still treasure the copy of Little Women that my grandmother gave me.

Another great gift for the off to college set is a an unabridged dictionary (with style guide and other extras) in book form from Costco. Every writer needs one, and all college students are writers. Don’t bother with a thesaurus though.

A PDA. My pen and paper organizers gathered dust, but I love my Handspring Visor. And, they are cheaper than ever these days. You can a pretty good one for $100-$150.

For the record, my parents bought me golf clubs and a Cross pen engraved with “Don’t Panic”.

You do have a point, but, she is really a good kid, just has had a raging case of PMS for the past few weeks. :eek:

There have been some excellent suggestions, I thank you all. I think we will look into driving lessons if they are not too expensive. The unabridged dictionary that DPWhite suggested is a good idea that I had obviously not thought of before. She writes all the time. A tool kit, eh? Not too bad when you really think about it. In fact, a very thoughtful and inspired choice.

I think I should print out this thread for future reference. You guys are great.

Stationery for writing all those letters of thanks to people who send her graduation gifts.

Towel sets
Sheet sets

I second the fridge idea - especially since there is a good chance that she’ll end up sharing a house/apartment with friends in her second or third year (or even after college) and you have no idea how handy it is to have your own space and not wonder if the milk is yours or now, and when was the due date again…? Well, that still happens, but at least you know its your own milk! hehe

A friend of the family bought me a pre-paid long distance calling card. I used it quite a bit. As for the driving lessons - if she’s a nervous driver, then driving lessons are pretty much a must, IMHO. If she doesn’t learn to handle that nervousness, she’ll likely never drive. I don’t know if she’ll really need the car at college though - I know a lot of places charge a lot for on-campus parking (especially if you live in rez) and if the campus is located somewhere where its just/more convenient to walk, then its really a waste of money. But then again, I’ve always lived off campus, and now I even commute to school, and I must say that my car is the post important item I have, because I couldn’t make it to school otherwise!