What to get for the graduate

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Graduation gifts

Students are most interested in cash and cars.

By Laura Johnston ~ Southeast Missourian

They've got the graduation cap and gown but what they're waiting for now isn't necessarily the diploma -- it's the gift.

Area high school seniors will accumulate a wealth of great gifts in honor of their milestone.

But what, exactly, do they want? For relatives, family friends and neighbors looking to buy great graduation gifts, here's a few suggestions from the experts.

Money topped the list of almost every senior about to graduate. After all, they've got college supplies to buy and dorm rooms to decorate, a senior trip to take and extra cash is always handy for whatever suits their fancy.

"Money is the best thing," said Scott Myers, a senior at Cape Central High School.

Of course, there's a temptation to spend the money now and not save it for later. Becky Lawman of Scott City has already received some gifts for graduation. "I've gotten some clothes and some gift certificates for shopping," she said.

She intends to buy "stuff I'll use at college," she said.

Lisa Mansker of Scott City thinks the greatest graduation gift would be "someone to pay for college."

But high-tech gifts are always popular. Computers, stereos, handheld organizers and cellular phones are great ideas, though many students already use some of these items.

Laptop computers and printers were also popular gift suggestions with area students.

Angel Butler of Scott City said getting a laptop would be a great gift. "I've been asking for it for two years," she said.

Ryan Keller already knows that a laptop will be his big graduation gift. It's being built by a vo-tech teacher at Central, he said. "It goes to college," he said.

Gifts that can be used in a dorm room or away at school are great suggestions, the students say but there's plenty more they'd like. Several mentioned new cars as a great gift suggestion.

Ashley Jones intends to save any money she gets for graduation to buy a car.

Michael Zimmer asked for a new fishing pole, but is going to get a laptop computer for college too. He didn't have many other requests. "I just expect them to be creative," he said.

Shopping for seniors can be tough. There's so many options but students aren't terribly choosy. "I'll take money from whoever wants to give it to me," said Jack Proffer of Cape Girardeau.

Several seniors are planning summer trips that will take them to Virginia Beach, Arizona and Cancun. "All those trips are the cheapest we could find," said Scott Myers.

Myers is going to Canada and Kentucky Lake and Arizona this summer. He'll also be accompanying his friend, Jeremy Wulfers, on a trip to Virginia Beach, Va., where Wulfers' sister lives.

"We can stay free and have free food," the teenagers said.

In the end, maybe it is all about cash.

ljohnston@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 126

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