Congrats + Welcome to the Real World, Grad!

Here are some gifts to make the transition a little more fun.

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You’ve got a college graduate on your hands. The word “proud” doesn’t even begin to cover it, right? Show ‘em some love and celebrate their accomplishments accordingly. Shower them with gifts that allow them to blossom rather than stumble through this brand-new stage in life. They’ll love you for it, we promise.

Make It Brief

Brief Case

Brief Case

Photo by: iStock/shironosov

iStock/shironosov

They’re out of school and that ratty, old backpack they’ve lugged around for four (or five) years is no longer cool. Enter: The shiny, chic, “I’m-a-grown-up”, briefcase. Nothing quite screams employed like a briefcase, right? There are so many cool bags out there these days, and they come in just about every color you could dream of. Take their style and personality into consideration when selecting the case and, when in doubt, black will always be chic. Tip: Be sure to ask your grad the size of their laptop before you invest.

Put Their Name in Print

Minted Business Card

Minted Business Card

$30, minted.com

Photo by: Minted

Minted

$30, minted.com

Prepare them for meet and greets galore with personalized, professional (and yes, pretty!) business cards. Business cards are a great way to celebrate their shiny, new position. Cards with their contact information and area of expertise will set them up for success at networking events and boost their confidence like you’ve never seen. Want to gift a little more? Bundle the business cards with matching stationery for their desk.

Buy a Meal (or Six)

Sweet and Savory Crostini

Sweet and Savory Crostini

Crostini is the perfect appetizer to start out a casual party or get-together. Plus, you can get creative by using as many flavor combinations or assorted toppings that you like.

©Cheyenne Mojica Photography

Cheyenne Mojica Photography

Sometimes starting off means long hours, stress acne and lots of take-out — sometimes, but not always. A subscription to a healthy, cook-it-yourself food delivery service is an incredible way to ensure your grad is getting a balanced meal while transitioning into their new, post-grad life. If you want to give ‘em a little something extra, throw in a set of pretty mixing bowls or a cast-iron skillet. (Everything tastes better from cast iron!)

More Books, More Classes

Art in Gilded Frame Featured on Bookcase Edges

Art in Gilded Frame Featured on Bookcase Edges

If your bookcases are packed with no space to spare, there's still room to decorate. Add interest to your book collection by hanging art from the front of the shelves. A gilded frame hung on your wall of books turns random book spines into a wallpaper of literature.

Photo by: Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil

Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil

College came to an end, but class is still in session. At least, it should be! Keep your grad sharp, and encourage them to build upon their education by gifting them with tools that allow them to continue expanding their skills. A set of tickets to brand-building seminars or industry events are both golden ideas — as are books on building network connections or budgeting for the future.

Help ‘Em Dress for Success

Closet Valet Pole

Closet Valet Pole

If you want a spot to hang dry cleaning or plan outfits, a valet pole is a handy addition to your closet. These pull-out poles usually install into a vertical panel in your closet system and come in a variety of colors and finishes. Photo courtesy of California Closets.

Photo by: John Granen

John Granen

You know what they say, “dress for the job you want.” Ah, it’s true. Sometimes, though, it's much easier said than done when first starting out. Suits and skirts don’t come cheap, people! Remedy this by gifting your grad a gift card that helps them build their professional wardrobe. Aim for stores that produce quality garments with professional styles. J. Crew, Banana Republic and LOFT are all great sources.

Gussy-Up Gear

Stylish, Updated Office Supplies

Stylish, Updated Office Supplies

Transform boring and dated office supplies into fashionable pieces to display on your desk at home or work.

Photo by: Andy Vinson of Loch & Key Productions

Andy Vinson of Loch & Key Productions

Did they land their dream job right out of school? They’ll need some gear to gussy-up their desk. Stick to the superfluous stuff, though. Many offices supply their employees with the essentials, so don’t break the bank on pencils and paper. Instead, invest in stuff that speaks to their personality — quirky signage, glam coffee mugs or a quality day planner will make their cubicle feel like home.

Simple Support

Packing Boxes

Packing Boxes

Photo by: iStock/SolisImages

iStock/SolisImages

This gift might not cost a thing, but a little goes a long way. Moving to a new city and transitioning into this new, responsibility-filled stage of life can feel totally daunting. That said, having a helping hand during the chaos will make a huge — positive — impact on the new grad. Offer help for the dreaded packing, the heavy lifting or simply bring by a sandwich for lunch. Your good deeds will not go unnoticed.

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