How to Congratulate a Newly Graduate: From a Verbal Congratulations to Gifting Graduation Flowers

I worked hard, I persevered, and I finally reached the finish line: I graduated college! As I move into this next chapter of my life, I am filled with all sorts of emotions. I’m extremely proud of myself and excited for what lies ahead, but I also feel bittersweet that my college experience has reached an end and feel nervous to join the adult world. These are all normal feelings for newly graduates to experience! What keeps me most hopeful and happy during this time is the pride and encouragement I continually receive from my family and friends. If you have a loved one who is graduating or recently graduated, your support means the world to them. Here is how you can help make a newly graduate feel special, loved, and proud of their accomplishments through your words and gifts.

A Non-Cliché “Congratulations”

Since graduation, I have been receiving a great amount of “congratulations” messages, calls, and social media posts. While I’m grateful and uplifted by every congratulations I receive, some definitely touch me more than others.
How can you say congratulations to a recent graduate in a way that will stick out and be meaningful?

Consider some of these ideas and questions:

- Understand what they accomplished in college
When you congratulate a recent graduate, it’s good to know exactly what you are congratulating them for. Which university did they attend? What did they get a degree in? Did they achieve any honors or awards? Were they a part of any clubs, sports, Greek life, etc.? Everyone’s path is different in college. It’s important to understand what a person did in college and congratulate them for their specific achievements. 

- Recognize them for their personal experiences and achievements too
What specific obstacles did they have to overcome during this chapter of their lives? Did they struggle with a class, a heartbeat, a mental health setback, balancing a job and school, transitioning to online classes, going to live back at home during the pandemic, etc.? These are very important and heart-felt aspects to recognize, but they’re also more confidential. Before you intersect more personal aspects with somebody’s college accomplishments, consider the appropriateness of it. How close your relationship is with them, the severity of the situation you’re discussing (make sure it will not trigger them negatively), and where you plan on delivering your congratulations (on Facebook or social media versus through a private message or phone call) are all very important. 

- Give them hope for the future
Our lives have just changed forever! We are experiencing so many emotions as we think about and begin to plan for our futures. When saying congratulations to a recent graduate, give them hope on their new journey. What qualities do you recognize in them that you believe will help them do great things in their future and career? Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for them as they go forward? What is something that you wish someone would have told you after graduating college? Be patient, be supportive, and let them know there are great things awaiting them!

Gifting Graduation Flowers

Gifting a graduate with flowers is a long-lived tradition. It’s a non-verbal meaningful way to show your admiration, pride, and love for someone who has just completed a huge part of their life. Whether given at the ceremony or later as part of a graduation gift, flowers are a great way to brighten up a graduates day and make them feel special. There are important things to consider when picking out the perfect graduation flowers such as the type of flower, the color of the flower, and whether to go with traditional or long-lasting arrangements.

My Experience With Traditional Graduation Flowers

After my graduation ceremony, I met back up with my parents who surprised me with a huge bouquet of traditional red roses. Roses are my favorite flower and red matched perfectly with my school colors and outfit. Of course, I immediately wanted to take post-graduation photos of me in my cap and gown holding my flowers. I struggled to find a way to make the flowers look good in the pictures. The plastic wrapping made it difficult to see the flowers themselves and I accidentally poked myself with the thorns several times. Additionally, I was only able to enjoy these flowers for one day; my family and I flew back home the following day of my graduation and I wouldn’t have been able to carefully and properly travel with the huge bouquet of traditional roses. It was very upsetting to need to leave behind the flowers I was gifted with during a very special time.

A Better Alternative: Eternal Fleur’s Long-Lasting Graduation Flowers

Traditional flowers will only amount to being a prop in some quick graduation photos and a pretty display for a couple of weeks—or, in my case, a day—before the new graduate has to say goodbye to their special gift. However, Eternal Fleur’s Four Season Flowers and Roses™ arrangements will persevere through the seasons like us graduates did. On top of being picture-perfect for graduation photos, Eternal Fleur’s graduation flowers will be a year-long and task-free reminder of your graduate’s accomplishments. Graduates face a lot of pressure and changes during their first year out of school; many will be searching for jobs, places to live, or possibly moving to new cities, states, or even countries. This is another reason why Eternal Fleur’s arrangements are superb for a new graduate; they are also the perfect office or housewarming gift. Wherever this new chapter takes them, Eternal Fleur’s graduation flowers will stay by their side as a meaningful and beautiful embodiment of a very special achievement.

Check out the Graduation Collection now.

Which Type of Flower Is the Best For a Graduation Gift?

Flowers are known for being symbolic, and each type of flower is unique in this manner. There are several types of flowers that would make for a great graduation gift, so you have the ability to get creative and select what you think best suits the graduate and your relationship with them. Here are a few favorite symbolic flowers for a graduation gift:


Roses are iconic; you can’t go wrong with this choice. Gifting a graduate with roses is a sign of love and admiration for their accomplishments.


Peonies are very popular in the springtime and symbolize a happy and prosperous life. They are a great choice for a graduation gift to give hope for a graduate’s bright future in their new life chapter.


Carnations symbolize good health and love. They are a great way to tell a graduate you love them and wish them a healthy, bright, and successful future.

Which Color Should I Choose?

Like the flower itself, the color of a flower also holds a meaning. Here are some things to consider when choosing a color for graduation flowers and other meaningful specific options:

The Graduate’s School Colors

If you’re iffy about specific flower colors and their meanings, you can’t go wrong by selecting flowers that match the graduate’s school colors as a graduation gift.

The Graduate’s Favorite Color

Especially if you’re choosing a long-lasting arrangement, you want your graduate to love the color of their flowers that will be with them for 365 days or longer.

Bright Colors

Bright colors such as pink, orange, and purple are uplifting and perfect for a celebration such as a graduation.


Red flowers represent love, admiration, and passion. This is a great color choice for a significant other, parents, or grandparents to gift a graduate with.

Navy Blue

Navy blue is a classic representation of school and also symbolizes knowledge and integrity, making them a great choice of flower color for a graduation gift.

Eternal Fleur’s Evil Eye Arrangements

The ‘evil eye’ is a symbol of protection and calls for good luck and good fortune. Eternal Fleur’s Evil Eye arrangements are made with beautiful royal navy blue, white, light blue, and black roses, just like the colors of a traditional evil eye. These arrangements are unique, meaningful, and perfect for a new graduate as they transition into a new chapter.