Graduation season is upon us and while it’s been a fair few years since I walked across the stage at my University, I would hope that I’m still with it enough to recommend some killer graduation gift ideas. Shopping for a recent graduate is somehow both easy and challenging: They need pretty much everything (especially if they’re moving into a new apartment or starting a new job), but also hardly ever mention anything specific when you ask them what they need. In their defense, they were probably in the middle of studying for a final when you called!
There’s no doubt about it—graduating college is weird. Happy, yes, but also very strange, especially in 2021. So it makes sense that finding the perfect gift for a graduating college senior would be a little tricky, too! Most of the gifts on this list are small enough to pack in your carry-on if you’re hopping on a flight to see the student in your life walk across the stage at their commencement, but big enough in terms of gesture that you’ll totally make their day. So whether you’re shopping for your sibling, your child or just your long-distance bestie, I’ve got you covered.
I can’t guarantee that your beloved grad will get their dream job within a week of coming home, but I can promise that these gifts will make all their hard work in school feel worth it. From high-tech beauty tools to jewelry, this list has got it all. Read on to shop 16 of the best grad gifts on the market, from brands like Dyson, Mejuri, Coach and more.
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A Personalized Pendant
You can’t go wrong with a simple pendant necklace. This gold vermeil pick from Mejuri will coordinate with basically any other piece of jewelry, so you know she’ll wear it every day. Plus, it will look so cute in her grad photos!
A Trendy New Perfume
She’s probably seen this perfume all over Instagram, so why not treat her to it? It’s full of fresh notes like bergamot, mint leaf and green peppercorn, so it’s a far more elevated option than those sweet scents she probably wore in high school or college.
A Chic Lunchbox For Her Big Girl Job
If she’s got a lunch break at her new job, chances are she’ll need a lunch box. And if she needs a lunch box, she needs one from Modern Picnic. Yes, that chic-as-hell white purse is insulated! No brown paper bags here, folks.
Some Bougie Bedding
These linen sheets from Parachute Home will keep her cool now and cozy when the weather cools down. Gifting her an entire bedding bundle (especially if she’s moving somewhere new post-grad!) is practical, but still feels like a treat.
A Cute New Going-Out Bag
Going out is finally becoming a thing again this summer, so gift her a cute little bag to match all of her new outfits. She probably already owns a black purse, so a pink option adds a fun pop of color to her post-grad wardrobe.
An Everyday Planner
Her old planner is probably full of school-related notes (or simply worn-out from all the use), so it’s definitely worth replacing. Give the Gen Z grad in your life a gift from the Gen Z queen herself, Ms. Emma Chamberlain, by way of this planner.
A Self-Care Skincare Set
Give her the gift of some much-needed self-care—a post-graduation detox is in order! This set from Milk Makeup includes their best-selling cleanser, moisturizer and a KUSH lip balm to tie it all together.
A Purifier For Her New Space
A clean home is a gift within itself. This Molekule air purifier is so quiet, she’ll hardly hear it when it’s on. Plus, it’s controlled by an iPhone app, so she won’t ever forget to change the filter.
This Viral Pan
Behold the Internet’s favorite kitchen tool. It’s a best-seller for a reason! The Always Pan takes the place of eight different kitchen appliances, so it’s perfect for either a kitchen newbie weaning off her college meal plan or a young chef-in-the-making.
This High-Tech Skincare Mask
This LED Light Therapy Mask only looks scary—any grad that’s into skincare will see it for what it really is! It combines anti-aging red light with infra-red light therapy to stop wrinkles before they start. Ideal after a semester spent staying up late to “study”.
A New Piece of Tech
Make her feel like a real adult right out of school with a brand-new Apple Watch. Earn bonus points by buying a stylish coordinating wrist strap to go along with it.
This Do-It-All Styler
There’s a good chance the Dyson Airwrap is already on your grad’s wishlist, so be the cool aunt/friend/parent/acquaintance who actually splurges and gets it for her! If she’s worthy of such a generous gift, there’s a good chance she’ll totally let you borrow it, too, so it’s a win-win.
This Personalized Blanket
A cozy blanket like this one from Baublebar will be the perfect accent piece in her new space, especially if she loves a pop of color. Choose from five different colorways and personalize with her name or initials.
A Digital Photo Frame for Her Memories
She and her friends can email their college photos directly to this digital photo frame, so the memories won’t ever get the chance to fade. This is also a great option if your favorite grad is moving far away from home—pre-load it with all her fave family photos!
A Candle That’s All Too Accurate
If you’re sending a gift from far away, make her smile with a cutesy candle that she can keep on her nightstand. She’ll think of you every single time she lights it.
A Custom Suitcase
This grad is going places—literally! A suitcase from Roam Luggage is a must-have for all her travels. Customize this carry-on option to match her aesthetic and even get it personalized.