It’s spring, the time when high schoolers’ and colleagues’ thoughts turn to: OMG, I can’t wait to get out of here! You, on the other hand, may be a bit more ambivalent come graduation day: You’re over-the-moon proud that your child/sibling/nephew/niece/grandkid is growing up, but also a tad wistful because they’re heading off to college or the workforce means you’ll be seeing less of them. (Unless, of course, you can’t wait to get rid of them, in which case it’s all good!) No matter; it’s an occasion that deserves a fitting graduation gift, and that’s where we come in. Find the best gift with our curated collection of graduation present ideas that’ll delight your favorite cap-and-gown grad and/or give them a practical head start on their exciting next chapter.
As someone wise and snarky once said, “If you liked school, you’re gonna LOVE work.” With that in mind, your new ‘team member’ may need every possible reason to smile when they step out of the shower every morning. This kicky 100% cotton bath mat will provide just that.
$39 at Urban Outfitters
A gift that blends the sentimental with the brain-teasing. Select the front page from the day your grad was born, which will have them musing on how far they’ve come while they get to enjoy a mentally challenging task that they won’t be graded on! The 500-piece version is $55, but a 1,000-piece puzzle is available for $75.
$55 at Uncommon Goods
How better to motivate your initiate into the workforce than with an inspiring/hectoring message from everyone’s favorite fictional corporate mogul, Succession’s Logan Roy, aka actor Brian Cox. He’s just one of thousands of Cameo celebs (Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, anyone?) who are ready to record a personalized video message for your fresh-faced fave.
$689 at Cameo
Maybe your diploma-wielding giftee is a proud member of the Appleverse but doesn’t as yet have a tablet to complete their ensemble. This addition will put you on their honor roll.
$329 at Amazon
1) See above. But also: 2) Perhaps your grad has been making do with substandard earbuds, part of their student-austerity program. What better way to reward them for their hard work and also usher them into the world of state-of-the-art audio?
$249 at Amazon
It could be that your grad studied, notated and term-papered so hard that their current computer is plum tuckered out. Or, graduation could simply signal that it’s time for a new start with a new killer laptop. Either way, this Lenovo’s got what it takes.
$398 at Amazon
Anyone of graduation age has likely been working at looking cool for years. The beauty of Wayfarers? They bring a timelessness and maturity to that eternal quest.
$88 at Amazon
Maybe they’ve promised to stay in touch with their classmates (and actually mean it); maybe they’re setting off on their career path and will be spending many, many, oh-so-many hours in meetings, some of them remotely. You want them to look high definition good, don’t you?
$50 at Amazon
We tested this meal kit and though portions were on the smaller side, the recipes were easy to follow. Great for someone who misses mom’s meatloaf! The $86 per week plan includes six meals for two people, but you can order as few as two meals per week ($44).
$86 at Dinnerly
This chic tote bag is big enough to hold a laptop and versatile enough to take to the office, grad-school classes or a post-work/study hang.
$139 at Coach
How great is this for someone looking ahead to the boldest adventure of their life? Each gorgeous orb comes with 52 slips of paper, one for each week, on which the newly minted adult in your life jots down a wish, then slips it into the ball through a slot in the base. Talk about banking on one’s future!
$35 at Uncommon Goods
Is someone you love saying goodbye to dorm life? This’ll inspire them to toss those ramen packets and throw their first-ever dinner party.
$84 at Amazon
Best-case scenario: Your grad saves a ton of money by making their pre-work java at home. Worst-case scenario: They’ll get some training for that barista job in their future. Still, a win-win… right?
$169 at Amazon
Consider this dual-tasker the training wheels that will help your graduate get into the habit of, you know, cleaning the place they live in. Who knows? Someday they may get inspired to wash a dish!
$200 at Amazon
This toiletry bag is spill-proof and small enough to be cute (9.5″ x 4″ x 7″) but big enough to hold all their stuff. Available in 11 colors.
$68 at Beis
Disposable razors no more! We love the vintage vibe of this set, which includes a safety razor, a badger hair brush, an alum block, a stainless steel shave bowl, shave soap and five double-edge razor blades.
$50 at Amazon
If the college experience is known for anything, it’s as a time for exploration. Here’s one such experience you won’t mind knowing about: This handy kit is full of popular sample-size beauty products that grads can test before spending a ton of money on them.
$65 at Sephora
If your grad is the bookish type, trust us, the end of school means the beginning of a whole new world of non-required reading, and they’ll be filling this Kindle up with faves, classics and guilty pleasures faster than you can say “Joyce Carol Oates.”
$140 at Amazon
Every grad dreams of jet-setting around the world — and a matching set of suitcases is the perfect way to get them started on the journey. This top-rated collection includes a carry-on bag with spinner wheels, a large check-in bag with spinner wheels, three packing cubes, two pouches and a luggage tag.
$545 at Calpak
One of the great perks of life getting all grown-up and serious? Your grad will discover the joys of long weekend mornings when they don’t have to clock in anywhere! Whether they’re making their own breakfast and climbing back under the covers or they have a loving significant other to dote on them, there’s nothing like checking out, chowing down…and, maybe, heading back to sleep afterward.
$99 at Urban Outfitters
Growing up means organization and efficiency as well as entertainment. Put all of those at arm’s length with this fan-favorite Echo Show.
$130 at Amazon
After the blood, sweat and tears (not to mention the fortune) that went into their getting that degree, this case is the best way to protect — and show off — their, and your, investment.
$40 at Amazon
It’s one of life’s signpost events: the day one upgrades their bedding from twin to queen. Make sure they do it right: These sheets come in over 42 colors and have extra-deep pockets and more than 246,000 five-star reviews.
$35 at Amazon
No more red Solo cups: This set of four hand-blown crystal glasses raises the bar for entertaining or unwinding after a long day at the office.
$42 at Amazon