25 Gifts for Grads and Their Next Opportunities

Looking to reward a recent graduate for a job well done? Here are the best graduation gifts for students of all ages.
Cassidy Dawes Graves
Cassidy at SmartGift
May 12th 2021May 12, 2021

Summer is always a time of fun and excitement, as the weather starts to get hot and the school year comes to a close. For some, it’s just a vacation until next year’s courses, but for others it is time to graduate! Graduation has always been a special time in the past, and this year is extra meaningful as students have overcome unexpected changes in their education with virtual learning and COVID restrictions. Especially during a pandemic, the achievements of graduates should be recognized and celebrated!

Recent grads, regardless of their age, are starting a new chapter in their lives with some heading into the next phase of their school or others are entering the competitive workforce out of higher education. No matter where they will be moving on to, a pat on the back and a token of your pride in their achievements will be well earned rewards after facing the challenges of the school year. Whether someone you care about is graduating middle school or a PhD program, here are SmartGift’s top graduation gift recommendations.

With the pandemic, parties have been virtual celebrations or among your COVID bubbles of friends and family. As the world opens up a bit more and people receive their vaccine, it becomes safe to have outdoor or small indoor gatherings to celebrate the exciting occasion of a degree. It’s ok if you can only attend through video calls. Help contribute to the grad party ideas by sending decorations! These jaunty grad-themed balloons will add a pop of pizzazz to any gathering, and these colorful bouquets of flowers are a thoughtful gesture that can double as eye-catching centerpieces of their school’s colors.

For the smart cookie who is also a bit of a sweet tooth, themed treats like cookies and cupcakes decorated with graduation messages are always a crowd-pleaser. If you’re celebrating a college graduation where attendees will be of legal drinking age, toast to them with the help of some sparkling wine and chocolates.

After the virtual or in-person graduation ceremony, it is a time to relax and also start planning for the future. The grad in your life deserves to look their best for the upcoming job interviews or college classes. When you send a new outfit or accessory with SmartGift, your grad can choose the size, color, or pattern of your gift item or swap for something they have had their eye on.

If your brother always forgets to shop for anything that isn’t a T-shirt and jeans, this crisp button-down shirt and pair of leather oxford shoes make great gifts for him to refine his wardrobe.

For your stylish sister with an ever-expanding closet, go with a classic pair of work shoes and two dress options: one for her first day of work and one light and summery.

Make your favorite grad’s day with some graduation jewelry, like a luxurious new watch, a charming necklace, a pair of diamond earrings, or a delicate delicate cuff bracelet.

If your favorite guy is about to graduate, expand his accessory options with a sleekly monochrome watch, unique belt, or set of socks, because he probably needs new ones. And for his well-earned future adventures (or work trips), he’ll appreciate this travel-friendly wallet.

Whether you’re looking for a way to help them carry their laptop to the next stage of classes or to replace their backpack with a more professional look, you can’t go wrong with a quality bag. If their work has longer hours and they need the essentials with them at all times, help them do it in style with a snappy briefcase. If your cousin or sister wants to enter high school holding something other than a backpack, this elegant tote bag is the perfect graduation gift for her to use for years to come.

School is hard work, and it takes up a lot of students’ free time. When it comes to an end, their options for what to do next can seem overwhelming and they might want a break from deadlines. Many recent grads opt to travel and take their dream trip before settling into a serious job — help them out with a spacious backpack or high-quality carry-on suitcase. Flights will be a peaceful breeze with this in-flight gear set that includes an eye mask, neck pillow, earplugs, and blanket.

Also, consider sending a virtual greeting card with your SmartGift to give them something they can save for years to come (Did we mention it is free?). Whether your grad likes silly puns or sentimental messages, SmartGift has a card for them. From the SmartGift team, Congratulations to all the 2021 graduates!