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How to choose the perfect college graduation gift


When the studying is complete, the grades are recorded and the degree is in sight, it’s time to begin your search for the perfect college graduation gift. Post-graduation is an exciting time in a young person’s life, with endless opportunities to explore. For many, it’s considered the start of adulthood, accompanied by new responsibilities and life-changing decisions. So, how exactly do you celebrate this momentous and hard-earned milestone? Whether they’re traveling the world or starting their career, here’s everything you need to know about choosing the perfect college graduation gift.

Consider their new plans

Before beginning your search for the ideal graduate gift, it’s essential to consider their plans. Are they exploring the world or starting a job in a corporate office? Do they need to ship all their belongings to a new state, or are they staying in the same town?

If they aren’t flying on an airplane and don’t have to drive a far distance, the present size shouldn’t be a major consideration. A new graduate staying close to home might want a cookware set for their new kitchen or a framed photo for their wall. If they are a travel writer who needs to fit everything into a few bags, consider giving small or practical items such as wireless earbuds or suitcases.

Consider their interests

A gift related to someone’s interests is always a home run. Not only does it show that you care, but it also lets them know you pay attention to their likes and dislikes. For example, you might consider a Kindle for the avid reader, an espresso machine for the coffee connoisseur and tech products for the person who can’t live without the latest gadgets.

Consider your relationship

The gift a parent gets their new college graduate is different from the present a friend gives to their college roommate. So, decide whether your relationship warrants a sentimental, funny, or practical gift. A few ideas include personalized jewelry, a funny coffee mug or a tote bag.

Tips for choosing a college graduation gift

  • Don’t give them problems: While your graduate will probably love any gift you give them, you still want to ensure your gift is helpful. For example, they probably don’t want a plant that needs watering often unless they love plants. Also, don’t give them a gift card to a restaurant that isn’t in their new town.
  • Do include a gift receipt: Whether they would prefer a different colored tote bag or the clothing item doesn’t fit, a gift receipt ensures your gift works for them.
  • Try to solve a need: Practical gifts that solve a problem are always a great idea. If their phone is always dead, consider a portable charger. Or, a blanket might be perfect for the person who is always cold. 

Best college graduation gifts

Yeti Rambler 30-ounce Tumbler

Regardless of future plans, this insulated stainless-steel tumbler is ideal for keeping all drinks hot or cold all day. It also has a magnetic lid to secure the top during bumps and spills and is dishwasher-safe.

Sold by Amazon

Apple Watch Series 8

This Apple Watch is perfect for college graduates who love tech and staying active. It features a sports band, heart rate notifications, daily activity tracking and GPS. It also has the most crack-resistant screen on any Apple Watch. Our tester praised the attractive, minimalist design, the device's functionality and how easy it is to set up and pair with a phone.

Sold by Amazon

Dash Mini Waffle Maker

Whether you have a small kitchen or want a quick way to make breakfast, this mini waffle maker is an ideal choice. It has nonslip feet for durability, an indicator light and nonstick plates for easy cleanup.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Sony Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

With up to 30 hours of battery life and quick charging, you never have to be without these noise-canceling headphones. It also features clear hands-free calling with five built-in microphones.

Sold by Amazon

Cartman 39-piece Tool Set

Even if you’re not the handiest person, this tool set prepares you for any issue. Its 39 pieces are heat-treated and chrome-plated to resist corrosion. It should contain most tools needed for home projects.

Sold by Amazon

Relavel Travel Makeup Case

While this makeup case is ideal for keeping beauty products safe while traveling, it’s also perfect for use at home. The compartments are adjustable. You can use this case for cosmetics, hair products, jewelry, toiletries or electronics.

Sold by Amazon

2022 Apple iPad Air

This newest iPad Air has a ton of upgrades. They include 256 gigabytes of storage, a 10.9-inch liquid retina display with an anti-reflective coating and 5G capability. It also comes in several color options and features an all-day battery life. Our tester admired its fast operation and ease of use, durable build, high-quality display and impressive battery life.

Sold by Amazon

Lenovo Laptop Shoulder Bag

Consider this sleek messenger bag if your graduate needs to transport their laptop often. It fits laptops up to 15.6 inches, features several internal pockets and has water-repellent fabric to keep valuables safe.

Sold by Amazon

Alex and Ani Adjustable Bangle

This bangle bracelet features an adjustable sliding clasp for the perfect fit. Continue adding charms for years, including a paw to celebrate a furry friend, four-leaf clover or a guardian angel.

Sold by Amazon


Neewer Ring Light Kit

This ring light kit will take your selfies, videos or photo shoots to the next level. The adapter is compatible with most DSLR cameras, iPhones and Samsung smartphones.

Sold by Amazon

LapGear Home Office Lap Desk

Working from home is more convenient and comfortable with this lap desk. The bottom features a dual-bolster cushion that conforms to your lap, while the top side has a phone slot and ledge to keep your laptop secure.

Sold by Amazon

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Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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