Graduating from college marks an important passage in a young person’s life.
Not only is college graduation an important academic milestone, but it’s a momentous personal one as well. This can be an exciting yet emotionally fraught time for grads. On top of that, students are bidding farewell to beloved classmates, professors, and a community that they knew so well.
Now that they’re making their way into adulthood, it can all feel a little overwhelming and new. For this reason, you want to select a thoughtful college graduation gift that will help your college grad prepare for this new chapter in their life.
A college graduation gift with a personalized touch will be even more appreciated these days since college grads have had to navigate so many challenges in recent years.
Whether you want to help your college grad crush their professional goals, help them navigate adulthood, or celebrate their hard work, you’ll find a thoughtful college graduation gift on our list.
Tips for selecting a college graduation gift
So what do you get a college grad who’s ready for their first real job but hasn’t quite let go of their dorm room aesthetic? Here are some questions to ask yourself before selecting a gift for your college grad:
- Do they consider themselves a foodie? Or did they live on coffee and ramen in college?
- Do they love bright, bold decor or do they prefer modern and subdued?
- What kind of music do they like?
- Do they need help navigating their career or do they already have a five-year plan?
- Are they a digital diehard or do they have a fondness for old-school paper products?
You don’t have to know everything about your college grad to find a thoughtful gift. But if you’re mindful of some of their tastes and interests, you’ll have an easier time finding the perfect gift.
1. A suite of professional tools
. The Spiral Dashboard + Meeting Notes Pack
is perfect for the college grad who’s ready to transition from student to professional. This suite of tools is simple and perfect for preparing them to shine in their first real job. It contains some of our bestselling productivity tools ever, meaning they'll hit the ground running and look the part on their first day.
2. Professional bag.
A college grad entering the workforce needs a well-made, structured bag that’s spacious enough for notebooks and a laptop, but sophisticated enough to bring to meetings. This classic leather bag
is an investment piece that would be cherished for a long time.
3. Unisex laptop bag.
If your college grad is more of the backpack type, then opt for this smooth, gray unisex laptop bag. It’s functional with lots of great pockets and space for supplies while the look is stylish and modern while still being office appropriate.
4. A classic watch.
Sure, we can always use our phones to tell time, but a nice-looking watch elevates any outfit and would make any former college student feel like a real adult. You can gift a unisex watch that they can be proud to wear to job interviews, office meetings, or special social events.
5. Fountain pen.
The Pilot Prera Fountain pen
would make a thoughtful and elegant college graduation gift. This is great for college grads who value sophistication or who love nothing more than a handwritten note with beautiful ink.
6. Ink+Volt 3-Month Planner.
This 90-day planner planner is perfect for the college grad who’s ready to crush their personal and professional goals, or for the grad who needs a little more structure and organization in their life. It has weekly and monthly calendar layouts, plus productivity and goal setting tools that will help a young person balance their new work/life responsibilities. The planner is truly a game changer and will help them navigate the transition into adulthood.
7. Weekly deskpad.
It can be hard for young people to adjust to post-college life, especially if they’re accustomed to set schedules and firm deadlines. Help your college grad master time management and organization with this handy deskpad. They can use it to make appointments, set deadlines, track habits, and organize their schedule.
8. Inspirational book.
There’s nothing more perfect for the college grad than a book of inspiring and encouraging words. Michelle Obama’s Becoming
is great for the college grad navigating personal and professional uncertainty. Each page is like reading an encouraging message from the former First Lady herself.
9. Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.
Help your college grad transition from late night ramen dinners to real, nourishing meals that they can cook themselves. Bittman’s cookbook covers all the cooking basics and is very easy to follow. Or if you have the time, gather your favorite, easy-to-make recipes and write them down in a sturdy notebook
they can keep for ages. Or, you can make this even more simple by skipping the recipes and just writing down any cooking advice, dinner party tips, or tips for buying wine.
10. Nice set of plates.
If your college grad is moving into their first apartment, get them a nice set of grown-up plates that they can feel proud to use and show off when they have guests.
11. Caran d’ache Ballpoint pen. Just because your college grad is entering adulthood doesn’t mean your gift can’t be fun. This ballpoint pen is the perfect blend between special and everyday.
12. A handwritten congratulations card. There’s nothing more touching than a handwritten card. Be sure to congratulate your college grad on this huge accomplishment and let them know how proud you are. If you’re finding it hard to articulate your thoughts, a motivational quote can add a nice touch.