For every student who has slogged through years of essays and final exams; dining hall dinners; and, more recently, Zoom lectures, the end is in sight. That’s right, graduation day is right around the corner, which means it’s time to celebrate the scholars in your life in style. Not sure what to gift the next generation of movers and shakers? That’s where we come in. Our Style team has gathered the best college graduation gifts on the market right now—from first-apartment must-haves to workplace necessities—to ensure your loved ones’ transition from academia to adulthood is seamless.
For When the Twin Extra-Long Gets an Upgrade
Gone are the days when going to sleep means struggling with ill-fitting sheets and squishing onto a narrow mattress. Once your loved one leaves campus, they’ll need a totally new bed setup. Go big with a Casper mattress (it ergonomically aligns the spine) or opt for the more budget-friendly choice of hotel-quality, 100 percent linen sheets in a warm terracotta hue. Throw in bright pillowcases and the softest mohair throw ever (trust us), and your grad will rest easy, even on the night before their first day at work.
For When the Bathroom Becomes Noncommunal
Nothing screams “college” quite like a grimy tile and sink situation, so your graduate will appreciate any upgrade you can provide in the bathroom department. Fluffy towels made from organic Turkish cotton and a mustard-hued gauzy robe will take showers to spa level, while a beeswax candle, floral-scented diffuser, and rose hand wash with notes of raspberry and pink pepper will leave the loo smelling like, well, not a dorm room.
For When the Unlimited Cafeteria Pass Expires
Sure, the dining hall may offer more fried food than one could ever imagine consuming in one sitting, but once your grad gets their own place, culinary possibilities know no bounds. You can’t go wrong by gifting an everyday staple: cookware made from chemical-free ceramic (available in a wide range of colors, no less), knives versatile enough to go from smashing garlic to butchering beef, or a mini blender for smoothies and soups on the go. A cookbook breaking down the basics (and written by a parent helping his adult son learn to cook) will inspire some culinary experimentation, and a selection of nut, seed, and spice toppings will save any recipe that goes a little awry.
For When Dinner Parties Become the New Frat Parties
Adulthood can be defined as a long series of dinner invitations, so preparing the graduate for post-pandemic hosting is a practical skill they’ll thank you for later. A handwoven tablecloth that doubles as a picnic blanket in the warmer months and ceramic dinnerware (for both pasta parties and midday sandwiches) make up the foundation for any grown-up kitchen, while basic wineglasses and elegant candleholders will help set the mood. If you want to gift something for special occasions, opt for a sculptural pedestal to elevate your farmers’ market finds, desserts, or simply a Bluetooth speaker to show off your dinner party playlist.
For When the Workplace Replaces the Library
Let’s face it, some of those graduating this year won’t end up working in an office. If that’s the case for your alum, a present to prep their desk at home is the way to go. A coffee subscription will ensure they’re amply caffeinated (and it can travel in a to-go cup if the office opens up). Wireless headphones, available in a variety of fun colors, are equally essential for blocking out a loud roommate during an important Zoom meeting. Or go all out with a space-saving bookshelf complete with words of wisdom—a best-seller aimed at creating a fulfilling life and a guide to homemaking edited by Domino Kids’s editorial director, Alex Redgrave, say. But if you really want to wow—and splurge—this is the chicest version of a posture-protecting kneeling chair we’ve ever seen.