17 Graduation Gifts to Take Her From College Girl to Working Woman


‘Tis the season for graduation parties galore —which usually means writing out checks to put in envelopes to bring to party after party after party. Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment, and something for anyone to be proud of. But, it’s also terrifying — and going from a student to working full-time takes some adjusting. As a recent college graduate myself, I know that I feel completely unprepared for adult life, and feel that any of these gifts would make the transition easier for me (and would make me a little more excited to tackle my morning commute). Cash is usually everyone’s go-to graduation gift, but I would appreciate the thought behind any of these much more, and they would make me feel more prepared and excited to start working — which is pretty priceless.

Goals: Inspiration Journal

This journal helps to achieve goals by setting them in the first place. It has writing prompts, exercises, and goal-setting tabs, all of which help to hone in on exactly what to concentrate on to start working toward post-college dreams.

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Day Market Tote

A good, universal tote is a staple in anyone's collection — especially someone who's about to start lugging everything they own to and from work. This leather tote can fit a laptop, lunch, and everything in between.

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Post-college life often comes sans-naps, which can be quite the shock to those of us who were once taking three a day. Less naps = more caffeine, and this travel mug will help them keep theirs the perfect temperature (and is good for the environment!)

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Annual Subscription

FabFitFun is the gift that keeps on giving — it's a subscription box full of full-size products that gets delivered four times per year (they'll get a box like this one at the beginning of every season!) Getting your grad a subscription to FabFitFun will actually be dozens of different gifts — some of which they can hand-pick themselves by customizing their box on the site. (Last month, we got Quay sunglasses, a S'well bottle, Ouai leave-in conditioner, and more.)

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Leather Laptop Case

Help prevent your grad's laptop from dings and scratches on their morning commute with this super chic leather laptop case (that will go with all of their bags.)

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Bony Levy
14k Gold Hoop Earrings

A good pair of gold hoops are timeless, and definitely worth the investment. They’re universal, and can keep getting use season after season. These are definitely a step up from the Claire’s hoops that probably were the only thing in her college-budget price range.

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The Defining Decade
By Meg Jay

This is one of the most popular self-help books for a reason, and college graduation is the best time to read it. This book will help give your grad some determination with its lessons and personal stories from a psychologist's experiences with 20-somethings — from their regrets to their accomplishments to their biggest mistakes.

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Olivia Burton
Midi Round Bracelet Watch, 30mm

Nothing screams “working woman” like a good timepiece. This two-toned watch can go with anything, and is sure to bump any work outfit up a couple of notches.

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Give your grad a luxury of adulthood with airpods to sport on their morning commute. Nothing screams "real adult" like some wire-free tunes.

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The Carry-On

From a European excursion to work trips, post-grad life can include a lot more traveling than college did, and a good carry-on is a necessity (and a really cute one is a bonus.) Another plus? This one eliminates scrambling for an airport outlet, because it comes with an ejectable battery that allows you to charge your phone on the top of the suitcase.

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55 Original Aviator

You really just can’t go wrong with these sunglasses — they’re a classic that can be worn with everything.

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Grafo Map
A Map of Their College Town

Graduation comes with a literal tsunami of nostalgia. Getting your grad a print of a map of their college town to hang on the wall of their grown-up apartment can help soothe some of the growing pain. (This site can make them for any city or town!)

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Perfume Sampler

This perfume sampler has 13 samples of Sephora’s top-selling perfumes, and includes a gift certificate that can be taken to redeem a full-size bottle of whichever you like best. It can help your graduate find their "real adult" scent, and allows them to try a bunch out before settling on their favorite.

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Coffee Maker

Help your grab save money on all the caffeine they're about to need with a Keurig. Bonus: this mini version won't take up too much of their counter space.

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Gift Card

Getting out of a campus gym can be exhilarating — and overwhelming. It's hard to choose which gyms or fitness classes to commit to, so ClassPass allows you to try them all to find which you like best. It's good for classes at the most popular studios — from yoga to cycling to boxing, you can find what works best for you. (It also is a lot cheaper than paying for drop-in classes.)

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Kate Spade
Lunch Tote

Starting a full-time job can pose the temptation of eating out for lunch every day, but a cute lunchbox can help curb the desire. This insulated lunch tote can carry food back and forth from work, and helps your grad start saving money in the meantime.

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Inspire HR

Help your grad track her steps and exercise in style with a Fitbit — especially if she's in an entry-level position that's going to spark and extra high heart rate.

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