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Graduation Wish Lists Help Grads Celebrate

Graduating from high school or college is a huge milestone—and a very good reason to celebrate.

As California steadily opens up to more in-person activities and gatherings, a careful balance is in place to keep everyone safe. Happily for the Class of 2021, graduation ceremonies are happening, with tremendous creativity going into organizing events that are in keeping with health guidelines while retaining the celebratory spirit of traditional graduation festivities.

Against that backdrop, millions of high school and college students across the country are preparing to transition between high school, college, and the “real world.” One of the ways they’re doing it is by creating Graduation Wish Lists. According to Nancy Lee, president of, the gift registry site “has seen an incredible uptick in high school graduation registries particularly, as graduation parties are held virtually and families, now more than ever, are looking to ease the financial burden of the extras their grads need as they go off to college.”

What Is a Graduation Wish List?

A Wish List is a shareable, shoppable online tool that can be created for any occasion that involves gift giving, including graduation. Having a Wish List makes it easy for grads to organize everything they need and want in one place, and it also helps those who want to celebrate the graduates by taking the guesswork out of choosing a gift.

Having what’s known as a Universal Graduation Wish List means grads can add gifts from any store in the world—both online and in-store. As graduates start to plan their new living situations, they’ll quickly discover how costly it can be to gather everything they need to live on their own. But by registering for bedding, storage, kitchen, and other personal and home items, they can make a new dorm room or first apartment cozy and functional. Requesting gifts of tech and other study supplies will help them create their best work setup, and stocking up on healthy snacks can keep them going late at night.

Research from MyRegistry finds that lots of students also register for gift cards, letting them prepare for future expenses that will inevitably come up. MyRegistry also sees graduates including Cash Gift Funds on their Wish List to create a group-gifting opportunity among friends and family. The grads specify that funds will go toward a larger purchase like a new laptop or apartment security deposit.

How Does It Work?

It’s an easy and straightforward process to create a Wish List and add gifts to it. For instance, on MyRegistry, students can use the Add to Button extension as they’re browsing their favorite sites and add individual gifts by clicking. Whether it’s well-known companies like Dormco, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, or Wayfair, or even smaller local shops, they can pick and choose just what they want. For those who prefer to shop in person—there’s the App

While much more prevalent today, graduation registries are not new. Bed Bath & Beyond launched the first one about eight years ago in conjunction with their college “buy local and pick up near your school” program. They currently offer checklists for hundreds of schools nationwide that detail what you might need based on the dorm you’re moving into. Target and Amazon launched their college registries in the past five years to encourage more dorm purchasing on their websites. In addition to the big-box retailers, companies like Dormco have their college and dorm selections down to a science, from the extra-long sheets needed for dorm beds to the ultimate decor that college students use to decorate and personalize their private space. All these retailers’ gift lists can be seamlessly synced together on MyRegistry to create one ultimate Graduation Wish List fit just for the grad.

If you’re a 2021 graduate planning for college or post-college life, you might be wondering how you’re going to manage it all. Creating a Graduation Wish List is one way to check a few things off your list.

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