Cheerful father and graduating daughter hugging outdoor, study achievement, education
Phynart Studio/E+/Getty Images

New Grads Will Seriously Use These 20 Gifts Over & Over Again

Because they’re gonna need a lot of stuff when they’re starting out.

Originally Published: 

Ready or not, your child has finished college and it’s time to celebrate their entrance into the world of adulthood. It’s an exciting and emotional time, and you might want to mark the occasion by giving your grad some of the best college graduation gifts parents can give. Whether you want to shower them with several little gifts or get them one amazing present, there are a lot of options to choose from.

The transition from college to adulthood can sometimes feel like a shock. You may remember how it felt when you were suddenly expected to go from wearing your sweats all day to a closet full of business casual clothes. Or, maybe you recall that strange urge you got to toss out your mis-matching plastic dinnerware so you could upgrade to an actual set. Now, you get to watch as your kid goes through this change, and with the right graduation gift, you can help them along a little.

Of course, any present you give your kid will be appreciated, but the best college graduation gifts parents can give their kids are the ones that will help make them feel like growing up is a little less overwhelming. Consider getting them essentials for their new home, clothes or accessories to help them look a bit more professional, or something meaningful that will remind them how much you believe in them. Here are some ideas.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.


Personalized Stationary

Sure, emails and texts are the main form of communication, but there’s still something to be said about a handwritten note. If they’re sending a “thank you” to a potential employer after an interview or to their grandma for a birthday gift, the note will look a lot more grown up if it’s on personal stationery.


Luggage Set

Finally, they’ll have the time and a little bit of money to do some traveling, so they’ll need some quality luggage. Consider getting them a set that includes both a carry on-size and checked-bag size piece so they have something for both long trips or a weekend getaway.


Meaningful Piece Of Decor

Appropriately named “And I’m Off,” this print will brighten up their new living space and remind them of all of their potential. You can customize the skin tone and choose between either a 5x7 or 8x10 print (don’t forget to get a frame, too).


Amazon Gift Card

Assuming they aren’t overly attached to their smartwatch, a dress watch is always a good professional, and it always adds a little extra style to an outfit.


High-Quality Backpack

Now is the time for them to retire their worn-out backpack they used at school and upgrade to something a little nicer that can carry their laptop, tablet, or anything else they need for work. This bag from Madewell is a fantastic option with adjustable straps and plenty of pockets for storage.


Investing 101

Whether their first job offers them a 401k program or not, they’re going to want to understand the basics of investing so they can start contributing to a retirement fund (even if all they can afford right now is $10 a month). Understanding investing is hard, though, so gift them with a book that teaches them the basics so they know where to start.


School Keepsake

Framing their diploma is always a nice gesture, but they might prefer something that they can hang up in their home that reminds them of their time at school rather than all of the work they did. Look for wall art that features well-known campus landmarks or a famous school cheer.


Mindfulness Kit

As you are well aware, adulthood is stressful so the earlier your kid can get into the practice of mindfulness, the better. This kit includes a journal, a step-by-step mindfulness guide, a timer, pencils, and some inspirational quotes.


Starter Tool Set

If they don’t already have a tool kit, now is the time to get them started with one. Look for something that has all of the basics they’d need to make minor repairs like this 68-piece set that even includes a drill.


Year-Long Amazon Membership

Rather than having them use your Prime account (and “accidentally” charging things to your card), gift them with their own. This will let them take advantage of that two-day shipping and give them access to the Prime streaming platform.



As they move into adulthood, they may want to write down their thoughts once in a while. Or, if nothing else, they’ll need to add to their never-ending to-do list. So, a nice journal always makes for a great gift.


Meal Delivery Gift Card

Cooking doesn’t come naturally, but with meal kits, it’s a lot easier to learn. You can either sign your child up for a subscription or send them a gift card to set up their own. Either way, you can at least rest easy knowing they are eating something other than frozen pizza a few nights a week.


Crystal Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets help a lot of people relax after a long day and can even help provide better sleep, both of which are essential for adults. This one from Sunday Citizen is filled with thousands of pieces of Clear Quartz, Rose Quartz and Amethyst for natural healing energy (instead of the glass beads in most weighted blankets).



There’s just something about a matching set of dishes that feels grown up. If your kid doesn’t already have some nice dinnerware, pick out something durable and classic they can use when they have their friends over for a grown up dinner party.


Coffee Maker

If they aren’t already a coffee or tea drinker, chances are high they will become one once they have to start waking up at 6 AM every day. Help them ease into the new habit with a good coffee maker that is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of cleanup.


Piece Of Jewelry

There is just something special about a nice piece of jewelry. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ring, earrings, bracelet, or necklace, it just needs to be higher quality than the inexpensive stuff your kid is likely used to wearing. Not only will it add a little elegance to their wardrobe, but it will also make them think of you every time they wear it.


A Quality Pen

While they may not have to write checks very often (if ever), they will be asked to fill out forms, provide their signature, and even write down their contact information now and then. Having a nice-looking pen on hand will not only ensure they have something to write with, but will also make them appear more professional and organized.


Clothing Subscription Box

Right now, their wardrobe probably consists of hoodies, sweats, and graphic t-shirts and while that’s definitely comfortable it’s not always practical in the workplace (even with a casual dress code). A subscription to a clothing service will have items delivered right to their door that they can choose from to either keep or rent (depending on the service) so that they can add a few grown-up pieces to their closet.