1. A toaster that does everything for you.
What’s more grown-up than breakfast? Eating it before one p.m.
2. A beer-of-the-month club subscription.
The time of Natty Ice and PBR cans has passed. May they rest in peace*.
*Just kidding, you still won’t be able to afford much better stuff, which is why this is the perfect gift.
3. A pizza cutter/fork.
You’ll still eat a ton of pizza, but now you can do it with gadgets. Available here.
4. A plant!
Even if you’re not in place (mentally or physically) where taking care of a pet makes sense, having a plant can make it feel like you’re capable of keeping something besides yourself alive. Succulents are super difficult to kill/perfect.
5. A simple yet solid vacuum cleaner.
I know, vacuums are SO BORING, but if you happen to live in a place with a floor, having one feels like a visit from the Cleaning Fairy. And there are models, like this one, that are cordless, not very heavy, and can easily be tucked away in a corner.
6. Or screw simple and get a Roomba.
If someone you know is willing to drop $400 in the interest of your cleanliness.
7. A nice corkscrew/bottle opener.
8. Actual physical photos.
Even though the whole entire internet exists solely for the purpose of funneling you images of you and your friends and the food you shove down your collective throats, having IRL reminders of those things can be incredibly comforting. (Plus, whether you’re moving to a new place or heading back home, chances are your walls will feel somewhat bare.) Printstagram will professionally print out Instagrams, and create special gifts out of them like this calendar.
9. Home decor that isn’t Christmas lights.
These paper pyramids are the post-grad version.
10. Glasses that aren’t plastic.
Time to let go of those free plastic cups from Shakey’s Pizza. Get these tumblers, which are a cool hybrid between glasses and mugs, here.
11. A subscription to a magazine or newspaper that won’t be sent to your college mailbox.
It’s srsly such a thrill/makes you feel like you have a real home.
12. Custom business cards.
Even if you don’t yet have a job title yet, just having a simple card with your name, number and email is a great way to (ick) network. Also v. good for ever-so-subtly giving out your info in bars.
13. An Amtrak gift certificate.
Sometimes you just have to get up and go. With a service like GiftRocket, which allows you to send e-gift certificates along with suggestions for how to spend them, it’s also possible to send money for bus, air, car and boat travel. (And anything else under the sun.)
15. An Audible.com subscription.
The audiobook service is the best thing to happen to your morning commute since Candy Crush, and it’ll (ostensibly) make you feel a whole lot more literary.
16. A sharp blazer.
For job interviews/when you get chilly at all the tasteful yet wild rooftop parties you’ll def be invited to.
17. A slow-cooker.
Perfect for throwing in a bunch of ingredients in the morning and magically having a whole dinner party’s (or week’s) worth of meals at the end of the day. And just look at all the surprising stuff you can make in one.
18. Cute, functional speakers.
So you won’t have to blast music from your roommate’s shitty computer anymore. In the Real World, you should at least have Real Tunes. These are also portable and wireless.
19. A lei made of money.
Maybe it won’t feel terribly adult to sport a wreath of billz around your neck, but you’ll definitely feel like a grown-up when you’re spending the cash later. Money in non-lei form is, of course, always very much appreciated.
Get the DIY version here.
20. A knife block.
To protect your thumbs and terrify intruders. (Full disclosure: I still do not own a knife block, BUT THAT’S PROBABLY WHY MY LIFE FEELS SO EMPTY.)
21. A desk organizer to keep all your new grown-up tasks straight.
22. A fancy siphon coffee maker.
Kiss your one-cup Mr.Coffee, stained with the memories of so many all-nighters, goodbye.
To protect all your new furniture, even if it’s from IKEA or something you found for free curbside.
25. This shirt for when it all gets to be too much.
Actually you can furnish your entire wardrobe via this Zazzle seller.
26. The knowledge that everything is going to turn out okay.
Hey so, real talk: leaving school can be wicked hard. It’s hard not to have your friends within shouting distance, and it’s hard to get up and go to work and schedule appointments without that weirdly flexible but comforting structure of college in place. Of course everyone’s experience is different; plenty of students can’t wait to get out and enter the fulltime workforce or travel or do whatever it is people do with their lives (and it’s totally possible to feel that way while also being batshit terrified to graduate).
But the thing is, you can’t really get it wrong. Struggle isn’t the same thing as failure, and not having everything (or anything) figured out isn’t a mandate on who you are as a person. After some or a lot of slogging, you’ll get something to do. You will have a place to live and stuff to fill it with, and you will find the people who make you feel like the best version of yourself. And even if you’re sad or scared to be graduating, the things that you love about college are largely the kinds of things you can take with you when you go. You can carve out your own spaces and take big chances even when you have dental bills to pay.