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    28 Things Every Recent College Grad Needs

    In addition to some cash for paying off student loans!

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A sturdy overnight bag that'll come in handy for moving, weekend trips, and visiting your parents. It can double as a workout bag as well!

    Nordstrom

    It has a separate compartment for shoes so your stuff doesn't get dirty. I actually bought this duffle bag about four years ago to use a carry-on item and it's still holding up super well!

    Promising review: "I bought two of these for my college-aged sons. They are super roomy and very high quality. You can put a week's worth of stuff in this bag. This bag should last a long time." —NilsMichael

    Get it from Nordstrom or Amazon for $85 (available in 25 colors/patterns).

    2. A little black book of everything you wish you were taught in school, like how to build a grown-up wardrobe, apartment hunting tips, laundry tag symbols, how to ask someone out, and more!

    Amazon

    Why didn't someone get this for me when I graduated?! 😭

    Promising review: "I ordered a dozen of these for graduation gifts. Every student and many parents felt this book was the best graduation present they received. The book has a good cover, thick pages. The subjects in the book cover many things new graduates must know from cooking to car loans. I will order this book every year for students." —degen7373

    Get it from Amazon for $9.54.

    3. A non-stick cookware set for when you move out since you won't be able to borrow your dormmate's frying pan anymore.

    Macy's

    I recently purchased this for my grandma (who isn't a college grad lol but is somewhat of a cookware connoisseur) and she absolutely loves it. This 10-piece set includes a 9.5" fry pan, a two-quart saucepan with lid, an 11" grill pan, a three-quart saucepan with lid, a four-quart jumbo cooker with lid, and a six-quart Dutch oven with lid. Everything is PFOA-free, PTFE-free, and dishwasher-safe. Non-stick cookware is generally easier to use than stainless steel because even if things go awry, all the evidence will wash right off!

    Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful line, exclusively at Macy's for $119.99.

    4. A good memory foam mattress because it's probably the one piece of furniture you can't go without. The coffee table can wait, but this cannot!

    Amazon

    Trust me, I tried sleeping on an air mattress for a couple months after college to delay buying furniture and it was the worst decision ever! I was in full job-hunting mode and a good night's sleep was invaluable.

    Promising review: "This product is amazing. I was looking for a mattress after moving from my college housing and this did the trick. I haven’t got such a good sleep since ages. I definitely recommend it." —Carlos juarbe

    Get the 12" version from Amazon for $163.99+ (available in sizes twin–king).

    5. An Instant Pot that might seem like a luxury (and it is), but is 100% worth it because it'll make whipping up home cooked meals so much easier. You'll save serious cash from not dining out and have leftovers for the the entire week.

    Amazon

    This handy kitchen gadget has seven functions: rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, and warmer! Check out our review of the Instant Pot!

    Promising review: "The Instant Pot is better than I had expected! As a college student, it allows me to make meals extremely fast and have leftovers. I usually am stuck eating some microwave meal or going out to eat but with the Instant Pot I get to make real, home-style food like pulled pork or meatloaf in large quantity for the week. It’s good for more than just meat too, you can boil eggs, make yogurt, cook rice, etc. I can make meals and be set for the week. I really suggest this to other students or new graduates because in total, a meal takes around a total of 20 minutes max. As students, we don’t really have a whole lot of free time to spend meal prepping and cooking, so the faster the better. I have had no problems and everything has cooked through evenly. Cleanup is super quick because it is stainless steel so I don’t need to scrub for a long time or let it soak overnight. And it doesn’t take up a lot of space so it fits in almost any cupboard. I would consider this one of the best Christmas gifts I have received due to the convenience, and it's almost impossible to mess up even though I don’t know my way around the kitchen. I love that I don’t have to babysit while I am cooking, I can walk away and finish up my homework without having to worry. It is also nice that I can join Facebook groups for meal ideas instead of having to shell out more money for cookbooks. Overall, the price tag is worth it due to the time this appliance saves and the ease to cooking it has given me." —Del Peterson

    Get the six-quart size from Amazon for $69.95.

    6. Or a subscription to Plated, if you feel super lost about cooking and meal planning. You'll get the recipes and exact ingredients in a box so it's easy to get started.

    Plated, instagram.com

    You can choose how many meals per week (from twice a week to every night) and servings per meal (two to four) you want, then you get to pick from 20 new recipes each week. You'll receive an insulated box with all the dishes you picked, complete with ingredients and recipe cards. It's flexible, too — you can skip weeks, swap recipes, and cancel anytime. Read our review of Plated (#2 on the list)!

    Sign up at Plated starting at $9.95/serving.

    7. A simple but effective planner for keeping track of both short-term (buying TP) and long-term goals (finding a fulfilling career) *without* feeling overwhelmed.

    BuzzFeed

    There are yearly, monthly, and weekly sections, with plenty of space to write in daily to-dos. It's undated so you're not limited to a certain time frame.

    Promising review: "I was looking for a simple planner to help keep my life in order midway through the calendar year, which makes it difficult to find a decent one without wasting half the calendar. This planner allows you to personally add the calendar so you can start from any point in the year. That was what drew me to this planner to begin with, but it really wound up working for me by keeping me on track without any unnecessary frills. With prompts to set long-term goals for the year and short-term goals for the week, I find myself feeling organized and accomplished. A favorite feature of mine is the section each week of what my successes were and what I could do better for the next week. The Simple Elephant does a brilliant job of keeping me focused and mindful — it is a staple in my bag wherever I go." —Gina

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in three colors).

    This is actually our cheap pick for the best planner on BuzzFeed Reviews!

    8. A double laundry bin so you can retire the drawstring bag you've used all four years in college. This one will look nice in your first apartment and is easy to bring to a laundromat.

    Amazon

    It even has a side pocket for detergent bottles!

    Promising review: "I really was amazed with the quality of the laundry hamper. It is very durable and cute, too! The foam-wrapped handles are very comfortable to hold when bringing the bag down to do laundry." —Sarah B.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99 (available in four colors).

    9. A small but mighty portable Bluetooth speaker that'll provide you with excellent sound while you save up for a home audio system (and search for a permanent place to live). It'll easily fit your bag so you can take it anywhere.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I teach yoga at a studio that doesn't have a sound system OR a Bluetooth speaker. I was looking for a compact speaker that would fit nicely into my yoga bag. This little one is EXACTLY what I needed. Its sound fills the room (which has a very high ceiling — at least 15 feet) and can get surprisingly loud for its petite size. I've had it for over a month now and have yet to charge it even once. Can't beat it, especially for the price." —Itcheebee

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in four colors).

    10. A personal finance book for young adults to help you learn about budgeting, getting out of debt, saving $$$, and investing for retirement. It's never too early to start!

    Amazon

    Promising review: "This book, along with some cash, is my go-to gift for every new college graduate. I'm giving away the third edition now, but I still keep my 20-plus-year-old first edition around as a reference for my own use. If you want an easy reading, step-by-step, common sense guide to personal finance, this is it. If you want to get on the right track to financial freedom, this is a great place to start." —John

    Get it from Amazon for $9.33.

    11. A programmable coffee maker or French press for brewing high quality joe at home. You'll save so much money by forgoing your daily Starbucks run.

    Amazon

    I own and love this Bodum French press! It's extremely high quality — I never get grounds in my coffee and it doesn't drip while pouring. It's leaps and bounds better than the cheap one I used to have.

    Promising review (Ninja coffee maker): "If you want a solid-performing drip coffee maker, look no further! Our previous drip coffee maker had a thermal carafe that was IMPOSSIBLE to pour without dripping and trapping coffee, even if we turned the carafe upside down. The Ninja has a spill-proof spout that safely locks in place. Another huge plus is the removable water reservoir with measurements clearly visible. Cleaning is a breeze, and we’ve enjoyed every cup brewed by the Ninja!" —Mr. Natural

    Get them from Amazon: the drip coffee machine for $79.99 and the French press for $29.65

    12. An informative book on the best job-hunting practices so you can get a head start on landing your dream gig.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is my second copy (I had to give my dad back his). I have used this since I graduated college 11 years ago for EVERY job I have applied for, even internally. It's my good luck charm! The interview portion I always look at before I go into an interview. I recommend this to all my friends." —Allison K. Smith

    Get it from Amazon for $13.59.

    Check out seven other great books every new grad should own!

    13. A sleek Quip electric toothbrush that'll leave your teeth squeaky clean for job interviews. It even comes with a nifty wall mount that can double as a travel cover so you can throw it in your bag.

    instagram.com, instagram.com

    When you purchase a set, it comes with the Quip brush, travel cover mount, a large toothpaste, and a travel-sized toothpaste. Then for $10 every three months, you’ll be sent a new brush head, AAA battery, and two different-sized toothpastes — this refill subscription is optional, though, so you can just get the toothbrush set if you want!

    Get them from Quip: the plastic version for $25 or the metallic version for $40

    It's our cheap pick for the best electric toothbrush on BuzzFeed Reviews.

    14. An electric wine bottle opener because the time for opening wine bottles with a shoe has passed. That was college you — graduate you is a civilized human.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Not only does this wine opener look amazing, it works just as well! No more man handling bottles of wine. We love it." —Marty T.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    15. A wireless printer for printing out résumés, tax forms, and concert tickets (you know, to reward yourself for working so hard on the job search).

    Amazon

    You can print wirelessly from any computer or smart device by connecting it to Wi-Fi. It also works as a scanner.

    Promising review: "I needed a basic color printer to print wirelessly. So far this has been great. I'm a homeschool mom that greatly relies on her printer!" —Mom of 5

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99.

    16. A chic pajama set, while not an absolute necessity, will go a long way in making you feel more put together. Shed your holey T-shirt and become the glamorous adult you are!

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Love these pajamas! They are so comfortable and also classy looking! They wash up nicely and always stay wrinkle-free as long as they are removed from the dryer right away and hung up." —Tam

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in sizes XS–XXL and 30 colors/patterns).

    17. An electric egg cooker that'll give you perfectly done yolks because breakfast should be one less thing you need to worry about at this stressful time!

    Amazon

    You don't even have to wait around for them to be done — just hit cook, go about your day, and ding! Breakfast is ready. It can make hard-boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, and individual omelets.

    Promising review: "I bought this egg cooker for the first time a year and a half ago, and it is awesome. I hate having a single-purpose appliance in my kitchen, but this is worth it. Making hard-boiled eggs was always hit or miss for me, even if it was timed perfectly. (I admit I forgot about the eggs more than once!) This cooker makes PERFECT eggs every single time, to the exact hardness I desire with no green ring on the yolk. Even better, the shell slides off without taking half the egg white with it! My favorite use is to pop some eggs in when I get home and prep a salad. By the time the salad is ready, the eggs are done. I can even leave the kitchen and still hear when they are done because of the buzzer. I've purchased five more of them for family for Christmas this year and can't wait to get everyone on board the Dash Go Egg Cooker train!" —A. M. Hinshaw

    Get it from Amazon for $18.96+ (available in five colors).

    18. A beginner's tool kit with everything you need to assemble your IKEA furniture, hang up photos, change the shower head, etc.

    Amazon

    This kit comes with *deep breath* a drill/driver, a 20v lithium ion battery, a charger, a storage bag, a tape measure, an adjustable wrench, a pair of needle nose pliers, two manual screwdrivers, a utility knife, a slip joint pliers, a 12 oz. hammer, a ratcheting screwdriver, four hole saws with mandrel, 32 screwdriving bits, a magnetic bit holder, ten drilling bits, and five spade bits.

    Promising review: "I finally decided to buy a drill after my most recent move. I had things to install around the house, my dresser needed new holes drilled for the mirror attachment, curtains to hang, and I didn't want to have to have everything ready to go all in one day so I could rent a drill. Plus, as a renter, two to three drill rentals equals the cost of this kit, and this is obviously a much better value, so if you have the money in your budget, absolutely buy. Definitely would recommend for the hobbyist crafter, fix-it-yourself-er, or renter." —Jennifer Diane

    Get it from Amazon for $79.

    19. An attractive hard shell suitcase for your post graduation trip (or just lugging stuff from your parent's house to your new apartment).

    Amazon

    Promising review: "These are the perfect size carry-on. Wheels are smooth, zipper is substantially secure, and the piece is not to heavy. I had it in another color and dragged it all over the world for three years with no issues." —Kimberly Antestenis

    Get the 21" size from Amazon for $59.99 (available in 10 colors/patterns and 24" and 28" sizes).

    20. A robot vacuum so you can indulge in your lazy side once in a while. Take a nap while it does all the work!

    Amazon

    This robo-vac has an infrared-sensor for evading obstacles and drop-sensing tech to avoid falls. It also automatically recharges so it's always ready to clean. It comes with a remote control (two AAA batteries included), charging base, AC power adapter, cleaning tool, an extra set of high-performance filters, four side brushes, and five cable ties. It can clean continuously for up to 100 minutes.

    Promising review: "My husband bought me this for my college graduation gift. I can’t say anything bad about this robo vac! I love it! I have hardwood in the living room, tile in the kitchen, and carpet in the bedrooms. We have a Labrador Retriever inside so there's lots of hair and it’s doing a great job picking it up!" —karissa leeann windham

    Get it from Amazon for $224+ (available in two colors).

    21. Glass tumblers that can work for any occasion, from a casual get together with pals to a full-on dinner party with people you want to impress.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Good, solid glasses without being as heavy as so many others. They're versatile enough for every day but also classy enough to go with fancier fare. I was glad to get 12 drinking glasses without having to purchase juice glasses, too." —Sassy Granny

    Get a 12-pack from Amazon for $20.45.

    22. A classic twill blazer to help you make a glowing first impression. Plus, you can dress it down with jeans and tee for days off, too.

    Target

    Promising review: "This jacket is super cute and fits perfectly. It appears like it cost five hundred dollars. The fabric is flexible so you can move in it. It has the button closure, but I generally don't button my jackets. It's dressy, classy, and the perfect length to cover your behind in the back. This is by far one of the nicest jackets I've ever purchased. It's so classy and always looks like it's designer." —jkathleen23

    Get it from Target for $34.99 (available in sizes 0–18 and two colors).

    23. A super loud vibrating alarm clock for waking up even the heaviest sleeper. You'll never have to worry about oversleeping and being late for work!

    Amazon

    You can also use the vibration feature alone and don't worry — the volume is adjustable.

    Promising review: "I am and always have been a deep sleeper. Through high school into college, I would sleep till class was just starting or even into class. Now that I've graduated, I'm up at 5:30 in the morning, which is an even further stretch for me. This alarm clock is one of the only alarm clocks I can depend on. Between the piercing audible ring to the flashing LEDs and the vibrating pad, this shakes me out of bed in no time at all." —Steven Kearney

    Get it from Amazon for $34.95+ (available in six colors).

    24. A mobile printer so you can make an album or wall collage of all the good memories from your university days.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "Do you love the look of Polaroids but suck at taking pictures on the Instax cameras?? Well, you're in luck! This printer minimizes the money you waste on blurry or overexposed photos because you know exactly what you're printing. Set up for the printer and app are really easy, and I love the customizable features it provides on your Polaroids (like collages!!!). This is the cutest way to decorate a dorm or apartment, save precious memories, scrapbook, and much more!

    I also love the size of the printer and the design. It looks very chic and sleek, and the gold or silver is a classic touch. I love using this to print out vacation photos for my journal and scrapbooks! Overall, I highly recommend this for anyone who wants a cute way to keep special photos!" —AdoraMeow

    Get it from Amazon for $79.99 (available in two colors).

    25. A roomy faux-leather tote bag (with a zipper!) that'll look great with both professional and casual outfits.

    J. Crew Factory

    Promising review: "I bought this bag to use and abuse everyday and for travel so I can throw a bunch of stuff in and not worry. The straps are nice and long, the bag has a zipper, it’s huge, has an inside pocket, and the inside is also a shiny faux leather that makes it easy to clean. At this price point, it’s a no brainer!" —Aypay

    Get it from J.Crew Factory for $46.50 (available in two colors).

    26. A fast and lightweight Microsoft Surface laptop to replace your slow and clunky one that's on its last legs. (RIP old laptop, you've served me well!)

    Microsoft

    It weighs 2.76 pounds and has a battery life up to 14.5 hours. The best part, though, is it has a 13.5" immersive touchscreen!

    Promising review: "Very high quality and super lightweight. On top of that, it looks darn sexy. This laptop is more attractive than me. Also very fast. I use some heavy software and it does a fantastic job. Overall, very happy." —Gigi

    Get it from Amazon for $759 (available in four colors).

    27. Potted plants for adding a breath of life to your living space, even if there's nothing inside but a couch and a mattress.

    Amazon

    These plants will come in 2" pots.

    Promising review: "Many years ago I had sworn off buying 'mail-order plants' after a few bad experiences and a lot of wasted money. When I was unable to find the small plants that I wanted, I caved and ordered two sets of these plants. They arrived today and they are exquisite — beautiful, healthy, and thriving. They were so well-packed that not even a leaf was damaged or a speck of soil was in the box. I so am thrilled with these cute little plants." —DHNJ

    Get five plants from Amazon for $18.58 (random selection).

    28. And finally, a splurge-worthy personalized necklace to celebrate your amazing accomplishment! You did it! You're a college graduate! (Now, onto grad school, lol.)

    Nordstrom

    These are made of gold-plated sterling silver. Hand-engraved personalization is free!

    Get it from Nordstrom for $119 (available in three finishes).

    And of course, a vacation would be nice...

    youtube.com

    Reviews here have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Want more useful stuff for your first apartment? Check out the best places to buy inexpensive furniture online, the best bedding you can get online, and the best home organization products on Amazon.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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