Graduating from college is no small feat, and should be celebrated with a college graduation gift idea just as special and exciting as their degree….which might feel like a lot of pressure. So, what do you get the grad? Well, think about what their interests are. If they’re an artist, treat them to an iPad Pro that they can do digital illustrations on. Or maybe you know they have a green thumb, in which case you can surprise them with a plant baby for their new apartment. And if you’re still stumped, try one of these 57 stellar gift ideas they’re sure to appreciate regardless of what life looks like in the coming months.
For the Grad Moving Far From Home
A new set of luggage will help them feel grown-up and ready as they jet off to their new apartment. And feel free to throw in a comment about how useful these will be for flying back home to visit too.
For the Audiophile
Shopping for a music lover? Gift her these headphones with impressive active noise-cancelling technology so her favorite song won’t get interrupted by any outside sounds. Even if she mostly ends up using them to drown out strangers on her walk to work or her younger siblings battling over the remote downstairs, they’ll definitely come in handy.
For the Starbucks Lover
Sure, it was one thing when they could use campus dining cash to pay for their morning Starbucks at the student center. But now that they’ll be paying for it with their own hard-earned money, it’s probably time for them to learn how to make it at home. Enter: this easy-to-use coffee machine. You can even get them some Starbucks pods to use with it.
For the Grad Who Already Misses Tailgating
Now they can host Sunday football hangs in style (and without ruining their new coffee table) with a set of vintage-inspired coasters that show off their school pride.
For the Grad Who Always Remembers to Hydrate
This color-blocked, 17 oz. water bottle is made with stainless steel, which doesn’t allow bacteria to grow, unlike their old plastic water bottles. But as an added bonus, there is a UV-C LED light on the inside that helps eliminate up to 99.99 percent of bio-contaminants and turns on automatically every two hours, so your new grad doesn’t even have to remember to do it themselves.
For the Guy in Need of a Wardrobe Refresh
These best-selling men’s pants come in 16 waist sizes and five lengths and have more than 600 amazing reviews raving about how comfortable they are. The signature Warpstreme fabric is a Japanese-loomed polyester that stretches like yoga pants but looks like nice heavy cotton and Ulitech, a poly-cotton stretch blend. Talk about a winning combo.
For the Fitness Fanatic
So long, free campus gym. If you’ve got a fitness lover on your hands, sign them up for P.volve’s workout streaming service (it’s Olivia Culpo’s favorite). It’s guaranteed to give them a real challenge with videos and classes they’ll love and can access from their phone, laptop or tablet.
For the Grad Who Never Took Morning Classes
The odds of them finding a job that lets them sleep until noon just like their highly perfected class schedule are slim, which means they might need a little extra pick-me-up in the mornings to get them started. This coffee subscription can be customized to send either a specific bean or a selection of dark/medium/light roasts, and you can choose the grind as well (there’s always the option to send whole beans if you’re not sure what kind of coffee maker they use).
For the Social Butterfly
This gorgeous crossbody can take her from work to drinks with friends or brunch to weekend errands much better than her college era going out bag. It may be a splurge, but the leather will only get better with age, and the silhouette is utterly timeless.
For the Grad Moving Into a New Apartment
Goodbye, twin XL mattress! It’s time for a major bedding upgrade and this luxe cotton set is an excellent place to start. It contains a fitted sheet, a pillowcase set and a duvet cover, all of which are so soft, they’ll make your grad feel like they’re staying in a luxe hotel…not their tiny apartment.
For a Super-Chic Commemoration
Gorgeous pearl earrings fit the same timeless bill as the watch above—they’re always en vogue, they’ll always fit and they’ll reminder her both of you and her great accomplishment.
For the Plant Parent
Help her transfer her beloved ferns, herbs and flowers to her new digs in style with this gorgeous two-tone planter.
For the Grad Who Doesn’t Own Cookware Yet
Sure, all they know how to cook is scrambled eggs, but at least now those eggs will slide right off the pan and can be cleaned without any scrubbing. (Just be sure to warn them never to put a non-stick pan in the dishwasher and to wait until it’s cool to wash!)
For the Wardrobe Minimalist
Maybe she likes to wear the same jewelry on the daily (a woman after our own heart). In that case, get her this dainty 14-karat gold diamond ring. It won’t oxidize or get discolored, so she can keep it on even while she’s taking a shower or working out.
For the TV Binger
She’s been using her roommate’s Hulu login to catch up on The Bachelor for the past four years, but now it’s time for her to get her own account. Help her out by covering the first year of her subscription and she’ll be totally psyched. FYI: Plans start at $6/month, so a whole year will cost you $72.
For the Grad With Good Taste
If she’s been using the same scratchy bath towels since her freshman year, surprise her with an upgrade to this set made from one hundred percent Turkish cotton. After all, there’s nothing like premium bath linens to make you feel like a true adult (even if you’re still crashing with the rents for the time being).
For the Artist
The most advanced iPad models aren’t cheap, which is likely the reason why your favorite budding artist doesn’t already own one. Once he unwraps it and downloads the Procreate digital illustration app, you probably won’t see him for hours. Just make sure to get him an Apple Pencil to go with it too, otherwise he’ll be stuck drawing with his fingers.
For the Rosé-Obsessed
Now that she’s graduating college, it’s probably time that she graduates from boxed wine, too. Get her started by gifting her a Winc wine subscription. After taking a quick palate quiz, the brand will recommend bottles that appeal to her taste preferences. From there, she can select exactly which ones she wants to receive for the month.
For the Movie Buff
A projector is an awesome grad gift because it’s something they probably want, but would never buy for themselves. This model from LG is designed to create a move theater-like experience at home, and offers two hours of battery life per charge so they can even set it up outside for a summer movie night if they want.
For the Grad Who Already Misses Her Friends
These digital portraits are all over TikTok, so chances are she’s already thought about ordering one of her and her besties. Pull a photo from her Instagram feed, send it to this artist and she’ll produce a pretty digital illustration of the group. Frame it and you have the graduation gift she didn’t know she wanted, but will immediately show off on her Instagram Story.
For the Grad Who’ll Be Living Alone
Want to make sure your graduate feels secure in their new living arrangement? Set them up with this Ring Video Doorbell. It features motion detection and connects to an app on their phone, so they can see who’s at the door at all times. For extra peace of mind, you can connect it to your phone too so you know they’re safe.
For the Insomniac
Thanks to their soothing pressure, weighted blankets are ideal for lulling insomniacs to sleep. So while it may feel like a strange graduation gift at first, they’ll surely thank you after seeing how their sleep quality improves. This one from Gravity comes in three different weights—15, 20 or 35 pounds—although we suggest starting with the lowest one if they’re not already used to sleeping with a weighted blanket.
For the Grad Who Needs a Work Bag
A color-block backpack may have been sufficient for hopping across campus from class to class, but a sleek leather tote is much more appropriate for the working world. This one from Tory Burch comes in eight pretty colorways, and features three interior compartments to keep belongings organized. Plus, it’s big enough to hold a 13-inch laptop.
For the Grad Who Needs a New Laptop
If they got their current laptop as a high school graduation present, chances are it’s pretty slow these days. Help them upgrade to this Samsung Chromebook, which doubles as a tablet. According to one PureWow editor, it works so well that it convinced her to ditch her MacBook Air.
For the Grad in Need of a Little Relaxation
The transition from leading an independent life on campus to living under mom and dad’s roof (and therefore abiding by their house rules) is not an easy one. An essential oil diffuser (that doubles as a mini humidifier and nightlight) can help make their room feel like a mini oasis, that’s still entirely their own. Pair this gift with some calming essential oils to really hit it out of the park.
For the Grad Who Doesn’t Have Amazon Prime Yet
Amazon does offer free Prime accounts for college students, but once that university email account closes, so too does their access to free two-day shipping. But did you know you can have up to four email accounts on one Prime membership? They’re still totally separate accounts (so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing what’s in your shopping cart), but you pay just $199 for all four instead of $796.
For the Grad With Great Hair
A dreamy silk pillowcase is the perfect gift for any graduate who takes a serious approach to haircare. The 100-percent mulberry silk is gentle on skin and hair, meaning it won’t cause breakage and split ends over time like a cotton pillowcase might. (If you’re really feeling generous, pick up a matching silk sleep mask, as well.)
For the Cooking Novice
This popular cookbook won’t just show them the necessary steps to bake a loaf of bread, it also explains why those steps are necessary and what exactly they’re meant to do. This way they can learn to become not just a good home cook, but a smart one, too.
For the Grad With a Sweet Tooth
The most delicious way to celebrate your favorite grad from afar? Send him this assortment of Milk Bar’s popular birthday cake truffles and cookies. Trust us, they’re way better than anything you could whip up from a box and mail yourself.
For the Job Hunter
Odds are he owns exactly two ties: one splashed with his fraternity logo and the other featuring a naughty Christmas theme. Neither one is likely to impress a potential employer, but this classic blue-patterned one definitely stands a chance.
For the Grad Who Was at the Dining Hall 24/7
If he relied on the dining hall for all of his meals, living on his own is going to be a rude awakening. Soften the blow by signing him up for a HelloFresh subscription. This way, he’ll get pre-proportioned ingredients and clear recipe instructions delivered to him each week to make cooking for himself feel a bit less intimidating. Plus, then you can rest assured knowing he’s not eating Ramen for every meal.
For the Grad Who’s Stressed About Graduating
If she’s graduating without a job offer, she’s probably feeling the pressure to get something lined up ASAP. Remind her to take some time to relax by signing her up for this self-care subscription box. Each month, she’ll get tools for a therapeutic stress-relieving activity, plus six to eight self-care items delivered straight to her door.
For the Trendsetter
Give your favorite fashion lover these sophisticated sunnies just in time for summer, and you’re sure to earn some brownie points. Also, you’re required to write that these shades are “for a future so bright” in the card. Sorry, we don’t make the rules.
For the Early Riser
Waking up to start their day is much easier and also much more pleasant with this alarm clock that mimics sunrise. The light gradually intensifies to gently rouse them from sleep rather than jolting them out of REM with loud beeping.
For the Life-Long Learner
The international economics major might know all the ins and outs of how the stock market works, but do they know why the Mona Lisa doesn’t have eyebrows? This hilarious card game is chock full of facts so random, everyone who plays is bound to learn something new.
For the Grad Who Loves Dinner Parties
Cooking for yourself is way more fun if you’ve got a celeb chef (and her recipes) in your corner. Plus, Teigen has been known to regularly comment on fan food pics, meaning they might just get a shout out from the queen of Twitter herself.
For the Sentimental Grad
They’ve made tons of great memories (and taken thousands of pictures) during their college years. So why not give them this set of five frames as a reminder to print some of those photos out and display them? If you want to take it one step further, you can even pull some photos straight from their Instagram and frame them yourself. Then, all they’ll have to worry about is hanging them up.
For the Grad With the Every-Growing Jewelry Collection
Design a piece embossed with her initials, birthday or graduation date. Or opt for a sweet message that will make her smile every time she wears it. No matter how many necklaces she already has, this minimalist one is sure to become a staple in her wardrobe.
For the Techie
It used to be that a quality watch was the go-to graduation gift. Now, a smartwatch is the way to go. The Apple Watch Series 7 is the newest model, so your grad is sure to geek out over it and show it off to all their friends. To be fair, it’s pretty similar to previous versions, but has a new blood oxygen levels sensor and works up to 20 percent faster than the Series 6.
For the Grad Who’s Constantly Glued to Their Phone
A constantly dead phone battery wasn’t fun to deal with in college, but it’s a major no-no once they enter the real world and need to let their boss (or their mama) know if they’re running late. This sleek wireless charger doubles as decor, meaning they can leave it on their nightstand 24/7. (P.S. It also comes in a pink geometric design for $120 if they prefer something more colorful.)
For the Skincare Fanatic
She knows Drunk Elephant skincare is the best of the best, but it hasn’t exactly been within her budget over the past four years. Treat her to this set, so she can sample four travel sizes of the brand’s most popular products and decide what’s actually worth splurging on when she gets her first adult paycheck.
For the Grad Who’ll Be Going Into the Office
The last time they carried a lunch box it had Thomas the Tank Engine on the front. We’d say it’s time for an office-appropriate upgrade. This lunch box doubles as a chic purse, so they can impress their coworkers from day one.
For the Grad in Need of a New Wardrobe
They’re entering into a whole new phase of life, one where the sorority semi-formal dress collection may no longer be appropriate. On the other hand, they’re unlikely to have a ton of spare cash for new suits and impressive workwear. Enter Rent the Runway. It’s eco-friendly, easy to use and gives them the tools to always look the part.
For the Grad Who Orders Everything Online
They will most definitely use this gift card, whether it’s to stock up on new novels, basic home goods or some office-appropriate shoes. If you can’t attend graduation IRL, just select the gift card amount and have it shipped straight to their doorstep.
For the Gamer
For the Adventurer
We’re willing to bet your recent grad is itching to go traveling right about now. Even if their next trip isn’t for a while, this book will be super useful. It’s an excellent guide to making the most out of both the planning process and the trip itself.
For the Planner
Whether their days ahead will consist of working in an office, bouncing between odd jobs or crafting cover letters, this notepad is just what they need to ensure that all their daily to-dos actually get done. “This notepad is EVERYTHING! I love to write down everything I have going on throughout the day but never find that planners have enough space,” writes one reviewer.
For the Hard-to-Shop-For Grad
When in doubt, go with a gorgeous vase of blooms. This particular bouquet features alstroemeria, solidago and aster, plus a succulent that she can plant once the flowers have seen better days.
For the Grad Who’s Moving Across the Country
After living on campus for four years, college probably feels more like home than their hometown at this point. If they’re moving hundreds of miles away after graduation, get them a Homesick Candle inspired by the state they’re leaving. It might seem a little cheesy at first, but in a few weeks they’ll definitely send you a photo of it burning in their new bedroom.
For the Avid Reader
This New York Times best-seller is a funny and poignant series of essays all about conquering your fears. No matter what they have planned for the months following graduation, Jones’ words will give them some much-needed guidance on how to start building a life they’re excited about.
For the Old-School Music Lover
Give his vintage vinyl collection a modern upgrade with this impressive stereo system that sounds every bit as good as it looks. Over 400 five-star reviewers say it’s easy to set up, high quality and sounds amazing.
For the Grad With a Green Thumb
Whether they’re moving into their own place or camping out in their childhood bedroom for a few months while they figure out their next move, any plant lover will appreciate a new addition to their collection. We recommend this Monstera, since it can thrive in a variety of different settings.
For the Aspiring Sommelier
It’s time they learn a little something more about wining and dining. You know, beyond just, “If it’s pink, I’m in.” This guide contains simple advice on how to choose a quality wine—hint: It’s not all about the price.
For the Grad With Good Manners
Job number one after graduation: writing thank-you notes to everyone who has sent a gift. So you can expect to see one of these cute cards again in the near future. (Psst, if you’re feeling very generous you can also add a book of stamps.)
For the WFH Newbie
Many jobs are still onboarding their employees remotely, which means there’s a pretty good chance your grad will be starting from their home…at least for a few months. Gift them this adjustable standing desk so they’re set up for success. It functions as a traditional desk, but can be raised later in the day if their back is starting to hurt from all that sitting.
For the Grad Who Needs a New Wallet
Don’t allow him to go off into the adult world with a wallet made of duct tape. Made from burnished leather and featuring plenty of card slots (because who carries cash anymore?), this design will last him years to come.
For the Sneakerhead
They don’t necessarily need a new pair of kicks, but their favorite white sneakers could use a touch-up. This easy-to-use cleaning kit is like a gift that keeps on giving.
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