Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide for Class of 2016 Grads

Graduating is stressful and exciting. It’s the next step in adulthood, the next stop in life. But what in the world do you get someone who is making the big step into the real world?

We’ve got you covered with our Ultimate Grad Gift Guide:

Apartment stuff


If your grad is moving on out of the dorms and into an apartment, I’m sure they would very much appreciate things for their apartment. Even if they already live in one, they still might be on that college student mentality where having the bare minimum is enough. However, they’re officially adults, so get them the things you know they do not have: like a fancy whisk or a set of plates that can be used for when guests come over (it’ll blow their mind, I promise). Shop on places like Etsy for more customized apartment trinkets. 



Finals are over. Now your grad can actually read for fun. Books are never a bad gift. Get them books by their favorite authors so they can fill the time or buy them inspirational books that will get them moving and grooving in the professional world. How To Make Friends and Influence People is a great example. When I graduated, my best friend got us all copies of Dr. Suess’s  Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

The point is, you can never, ever go wrong with books.


Blue apron

blue apron

No more ramen packets and sad cheese sandwiches. Now that your grad has reached the next step in their life, a great way to show them that adulting isn’t that hard is by getting them a subscription to Blue Apron.

Gift cards


If I haven’t hinted at it enough already, your grad most likely isn’t 100% financially stable yet (and that’s okay). Help them get out of that college mentality with a few gift cards to their favorites places or restaurants. Some ideas would be Starbucks, Best Buy, Amazon, Visa Gift Cards, Barnes & Nobles, etc.


Additionally, to continue to get them prepared for the real world, get them gift cards for a workshop or course that will help them improve their skills. For example, Dev Bootcamp has great courses that will help your grad improve their  coding and web development skills and will get them prepared for landing their dream job.

Instagram books


If your grad isn’t much of a “reader,” get them a book that’s a bit more visual. Take photos from your grad’s Instagram or your own and make them their own story that catalogues their college years. It’s a guaranteed tear jerker.

Offer to Pay Their Utilities 

No, seriously. Utility bills can be the bane of any recent grads existence, so offer to pay for a few months while they get on their feet so that they won’t have to pretend like it’s the 1800s for the week because they can’t pay for their Con Ed bill.

Amazon Prime Membership

This is it. Their Amazon Student Membership is up and everything is sad. Make the first year of adulthood a little less sad by getting them a real, actual person Prime membership. It’s $90 for the whole year but WORTH IT.

Birchbox / Birchbox Man


Birchbox is a great way to give the gift of wellness, makeup, and skincare for any grad. Just $10/month, a Birchbox subscription will allow your grad to customize each box for their skin/makeup needs. Plus, the boxes are gorgeous and make for great storage.

Stylus Pens


If your grad has a creative side, help them take their Snapchat game to the next level with Stylus pens that will help them create amazing doodles. It’s a sure fire way for them to gain attention on social media. You can buy this one here
Don’t hinder your grad from their binge watching addiction, help them. Give them the gift of Netflix for $9.95/month.
Charging Case
Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 2.44.43 PM
When a recent grad is on the go, they don’t have time to stop. Help their phone keep up with a portable charger or charging case. Here is a great one.
Help your grad get ahead in the professional world with beautifully designed business cards by MOO. It’s scientifically proven that someone with a good business card is more likely to put themselves out there than someone who doesn’t have one (probably).
Keep your grad feeling fresh and fly with a subscription to Dollar Shave Club. For (you guessed it) $1/month, your grad will feel sleeker and fresher and more confident in the real world. Plus, their razors are amazing. Seriously.
Move over, embarrassing college dorm room posters, there’s a recent GRAD in the house. If your grad is a fan of typography or just has really blank walls, help them feel inspired by their decor with these amazing posters from Paper Jam Press.
Annual Membership to the MoMA or the MET
If your grad is sticking around NYC for a while, keep them cultured with annual memberships to the MoMA or the MET. Memberships often include free admission, invitations to member-only events (networking!!), and discounts to the gift shop.
Subscription to Audible
Audiobooks are always a great idea for a grad on the go. For just $15/month, you can give the gift of thousands upon thousands of free, downloadable audiobooks on Audible.
Cook books
If your grad is a seasoned chef (pun intended), cook books are a great way to spice up their weekly meals (pun also intended).
Even if they’re not on their way to winning next season of Top Chef, a cookbook like “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman is always a must-have for the real world. That way, even if your grad can only make a bowl of cereal, they’ll have incentive to learn something new.
Swag from their school
(New School Pride)
Just because they’re now alumni doesn’t mean they have to graduate from their school pride. Get them some school swag so that they can show the world, “Hey! I went here!” – mostly because wearing your diploma around your neck probably isn’t a great idea. Plus, school swag makes for really comfy pajamas.
Sweet Water Bottle
Save the earth and keep your grad hydrated with a really cool water bottle that they can take with them wherever they go – like this awesome Permafrost Hyrda Bottle that keeps water cold all day long.
Coasters from Neighborwoods
Coasters are a super adult thing to have. Amp up your grads coaster game with these awesome coasters from Neighborwoods.
Upgrade Their Wix Website
Every young professional and recent grad needs a website. Wix has tons of templates that make website building easy, and when you upgrade their website, they’ll get even more perks. Additionally, you can get them their own domain name so that they can put themselves out there quickly and easily.

Hustle Summit

FindSpark Hustle Summit

Get your grad in gear by helping them land that dream job. Hustle Summit is one of the most epic networking events they’ll ever attend and it’s a chance for them to connect with companies like HBO, Buzzfeed, Showtime, etc as well as incredible mentors and peers who hustle just like they do. Sign them up at hustlesummit.co

Premium Membership

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Another great way to get your grad in gear for the professional world is by buying them a premium membership to FindSpark. Premium will give them access to everything FindSpark has to offer as well as discounts on all events and priority support from our team.

What gift are you getting for your grad? Let us know in the comments. 

About the Author

Tess is on the Marketing and Community team at FindSpark and a recent grad from Eugene Lang College. Prior to joining the FindSpark team, she was an active member in the FindSpark community, was a Hustle Summit Fellow, and got a few previous jobs and internships from the FindSpark job board. She's passionate about traveling, puns, and words. She is a big believer in having a book with her everywhere she goes and that lipstick is equivalent to a super suit. If having a coffee IV was socially acceptable, she'd most likely have it. When she's not working or networking, you'll most likely find her somewhere in Brooklyn talking to someone about Hemingway. Connect with her on twitter @femalehemingway.

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