Whether the next thing up after your grad tosses that cap is a long-awaited gap year, an epic graduation party or they’re off and running to become the next #girlboss of the decade, they deserve something special to commemorate such a big life accomplishment. After all, it’s been four years of seriously intense study sessions, early AM why-did-I-sign-up-for-this lectures and end-of-semester all-nighters at the library. It’s fair to say now that your graduate has finally made it through college, it’s time to reward their hard work. We’ve rounded up 10 gift trends that every 2016 grad will want, need and love.
1. Inspirational Pillows: Cheeky typography pillows were pretty much made for recent grads. Gift one with serious motivational inspo to help get them up and at ‘em, like this Alexandra Ferguson Zen Master You Got This Pillow ($97), Alexandra Ferguson Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat ($97) or a LoveJoyCreate Good Morning Sunshine Tassel Pillow ($38).
2. Inflatable Everything: It’s all about inflatables this year. If the graduate has a playful side, gift an NPW Inflatable Graduation Hat ($11), perfect for commencement day photo opps. If you’re attending a celebratory pool or beach bash, head to the party armed with a Pegasus Pool Float ($99) or Poolmaster Inflatable Flamingo ($54). Instant party cred.
3. Retro-Inspired Living: Throw it back with some retro-inspired and apartment-sized appliances (without the pains of vintage upkeep). Try this teal Urban Outfitters Mini Refrigerator ($149) or SMEG Toaster ($150) for your favorite hipster graduate.
4. DIY Online Classes: Even if they’re done with the lectures and study halls, don’t let the brilliant minds of your recent grads rest up for too long. Inspire a new hobby or business venture with DIY online classes like Intro to Adobe Illustrator ($39), Coding: From Web Page to Website ($39) or even a Jam-Making Online Class ($19).
5. Party Games: Step aside, Cards Against Humanity — there’s a new crop of party games ready to please the graduated crowds. Bring one (or all!) of these party-approved options to your next graduation shindig: Urban Outfitter’s Who’s Most Likely To Game ($16), the Kickstarter-funded A Terrible Time ($40) or What’s Yours Like from Play Monster ($25).
6. Throwback Gifts: A major milestone is being celebrated here! Gift your life-long pals something that reminds them of where they’ve been, so they’ll always appreciate where they’re going. Think: a neon Leif Moonbean DreamCatcher ($58), a DIY Backyard Jenga Game or a Polaroid OneStep 600 Instant Camera ($155).
7. Cinema Boxes: The cinema box is the perfect on-trend addition to any new pad. For the grad whose #motivatemondays always rock your world, gift the Urban Outfitters Cinema Box LED Light ($69) or Uncommon Goods DIY Cinema Lightbox ($50). Feelin’ crafty? Make your own with AwwSam’s Heart-Shaped DIY Tutorial.
8. Happy Notepads: They made it. It’s time to celebrate now, but real life awaits and it doesn’t take a doctorate to know that the to-dos don’t stop now. Gift a playful notepad like this Rifle Paper Co. Zebra Notepad ($10) or Leif My Desk to Yours Notepad ($10) to help your grad get organized, stay on task and get ready to #werk.
9. DIY Celebration Ideas: For the maker grad in your crew, gift something they can DIY + celebrate with, like our DIY Engraved Mint Julep Kit ($39) or a DIY Party Planning Class ($19). It’s time to pop some bottles for that post-grad celebration.
10. Calendars With Serious Inspo: Call it wall decor, desk decor or just daily pretty inspiration — a motivational calendar is a spot-on gift for a newly grown-up grad. Pick up a 2016 Future Is Bright Calendar ($35), this downloadable ColourMoon Desk Calendar or take a DIY Calligraphy Class ($29) and DIY one up for both you and the new grad.
Browse our Brit + Co Pinterest boards for loads of graduation and gifting inspo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.