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Graduation season is upon us, meaning that the time is now to find a gift to celebrate your recent grad. Whether someone you know is heading off to college or embarking on the daunting journey of adulthood, the perfect graduation gift considers what the next phase of their life might look like, mixing in pragmatism with some indulgent fun.
From a weighted blanket and espresso machines, to noise-cancelling headphones and an Away suitcase, here are the best graduation gifts to buy this year.
If your new grad is starting to feel the pressure of the weight of the world, then they might be the target audience for a weighted blanket — which weighs down the body, but in a good, soothing way. Weighted blankets, like this cotton napper from Bearaby, have been medically proven to aid naturally deeper sleep cycles, while stimulating the production of serotonin, reducing cortisol and increasing melatonin. Recent grads might not understand the sheer luxury of a good night’s rest quite yet but they soon will.
Nespresso Vertuo Plus
A Nespresso is the adult of all instant-coffee machinery, perfect for the post-grad adult that isn’t quite ready for an Italian-made DeLonghi but is ready for an upgrade from their Keurig. The Vertuo is arguably the best on the Nespresso lineup, boasting the same brewing capabilities as its more expensive relatives and with a slim build that can fit on even the smallest of counter spaces.
Pop Culture-Inspired Cookbook
The transition from dorm to home-cooked meals can be a difficult change. But cooking is made more fun with pop culture-inspired books that feature recipes and foods featured in your favorite shows and movies. From Luke’s famous burgers in “Gilmore Girls” to a Mad Men-inspired martini, here are the best pop-culture cookbooks to kickstart your grad’s future career in the kitchen.
2021 Apple iPad
Any student knows the importance of multitasking, an underrated life skill that only becomes doubly relevant as you grow older — and your list of responsibilities does, too. Tablets like the iPad are a godsend when it comes to engaging in multiple tasks at once, especially in the ultra-affordable third generation that packs in a powerful processor and double the storage compared to earlier models — which means it can support work-friendly apps like Adobe and Word in addition to hours of entertainment.
Because what is life if not a classroom? A recent graduate might not be champing at the bit to take another class but Masterclass’s courses are so entertaining, well-edited and engaging that they barely count as school. Gift a subscription and let your lifelong learner take their pick from the platform’s hundreds of classes, all taught by the best in their fields. Some standouts? Voice lessons with Mariah Carey (and Christina Aguilera). Cooking with Gordan Ramsey. Filmmaking with Spike Lee.
Meal-prepping. Workout regimens. Protein. These all become weirdly relevant in the adult world of nine-to-fives. And a NutriBullet makes for a pragmatic gift for any young adult that’s still in the honeymoon stage with their healthy post-grade routines. Pair it with a ClassPass gym membership and their four-night college benders of yesteryear will be long forgotten.
Away The Carry-On
Whether they’re taking a post-grad trip “Crossroads” style or just need an extra case to pack up all their nostalgic belongings, you can’t go wrong gifting a suitcase — especially when it’s one as good as this cult-favorite from Away. Their lightweight Carry-On is built to last with a durable polycarbonate shell and featured in a wide range of springtime hues that are basically calling Europe’s name.
JBL Clip 4
Keep the party going with this handy portable speaker from JBL, which boasts a powerful bass and well-balanced audio in a compact build. Aside from performance, the Clip improved upon its already compact, portable design in the new iteration: its durable integrated carabiner clip keeps the speaker secure if you’re towing it along for intensive activities like hikes or runs, and a slightly larger body allows for impressively loud audio for its size.
Our Place Always Pan
Cookware never seemed like the sexiest gift, that is until Our Place introduced their buzzy Always Pan, that set the world ablaze upon its release last year. The sleek enamel-cast piece gives Le Crueset a run for its money, claiming to replace the traditional eight-piece cookware set with the ability to steam, saute, braise, sear, fry, boil and more.
Sony Noice-Cancelling Headphones (29% Off)
Drown out the noise of the real world with Sony’s best-selling noise-cancelling headphones, currently 29% off. The new gadget’s headlining feature is its ANC (active noise cancellation), which uses microphones and speakers to reduce background and surrounding noises. While drowning out distracting noises like keyboard typing or office chatter, they also deliver crystal clear audio.
Brooklinen Bedding (20% Off)
Run, don’t walk….Brooklinen Bedding is currently 20% off for a limited time. Do up your recent grad’s new room with luxe bedding from the Instafamous brand, whose duvets, sheets and covers are all as soft as a cloud.
If your recent grad hasn’t gotten their hands on any of the PS5 restocks over the past year, then now’s the time to splurge on the coveted console while it’s still available at Walmart. Pair it with one of these top-selling video games, and other popular gaming gifts, and their addiction will be sufficiently fed.
Package Free Zero Waste On the Go Kit
The act of graduating from one institution, and one phase of life, into another makes for a great opportunity to introduce new routines — even better if they’re good for the planet. Help your new grad take on a more sustainable lifestyle with this gorgeous zero-waste kit from Package Free, which includes stainless steel containers, reusable storage wraps, a ball mason jar, a toothbrush, reusable cutlery, a metal straw and a tote. Or just go with these reusable Baggu totes or these handy Stasher bags and call it a day.