The snow is melting, the clocks have sprung forward, and that can only mean one thing – college graduation is almost upon us. Finding the perfect graduation gift can be difficult – after all, after those graduation caps hit the ground, life can take your former student in countless different directions. And finding the perfect gift can be even more difficult if you find yourself finishing up your shopping at the very last minute 😬
Not to worry – we’ve put together a list of last-minute graduation gifts that are sure to impress even if two-day shipping would take too long at this point. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s on our list:
Sound like we’ve covered all the bases? We think so too!
On the surface, GiftYa is an e-gift card, but it’s so much more than that. Yes, just like any other e-gift card, it can be used easily from a smartphone and keeps track of the gift balance so your graduate doesn’t have to.
But unlike other digital gift cards, GiftYa can be linked up to a credit card your grad carries with them every day anyway. Their gift balance will automatically be applied toward their purchases, and they’ll still get to rack up rewards points on their card.
Choose from thousands of local and national brands to find a gift that your son-to-be-former student is sure to love. Even if they don’t love it, they can exchange it just a couple of clicks for something that will help them get settled.
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s get to the good stuff – our list of the best last-minute graduation gifts out there.
Amazon hardly needs an introduction, but I’ll do my best. If you’re looking for a graduation gift that the soon-to-be-former student in your live is sure to love, Amazon is a safe bet. With convenient two-day shipping and a wide variety of products to choose from, your student can pick whatever it is they need to get their post-college life started on the right track.
Whether it’s some fancy K-beauty sheet masks for a little extra self care, a zen sunrise clock to make sure they get out the door to work on time, or a functional but affordable sofa for their first off-campus apartment, they can have it delivered right to their door when they cash in this thoughtful gift.
Hot coffee is the morning beverage of choice for countless Americans, and we can assume that your student is no different. After all, they’ve probably been relying on bean juice to get them through all-nighters, marathon essay-writing sessions, and the stress of finals week for the last four years. Hopefully their post-graduation caffeine intake stabilizes a little bit, but either way, a Dunkin’ gift card is sure to keep them running toward whatever goal it is that they’re chasing next.
In college, the dress code is pretty lax, if it exists at all. So how do you go from rolling out of bed for lectures in the same sweats you slept in to polishing your appearance for a 9-to-5? Are crop tops still cool after you put away the cap and gown? Needless to say, navigating the world of fashion after college can be a lot.
That’s where Stitch Fix comes in. Stitch Fix will match your student with a personal stylist. After surveying a quick survey that helps Stitch Fix get to know their style, lifestyle, and budget, the service will ship them a box of hand-selected clothing items to review. They keep and pay for what they love and send the rest back. Rinse, and repeat every month until their post-college wardrobe is *chefs kiss*.
Moving into your first “real” apartment is exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Your student has probably never noticed quite how much stuff it takes to run a home until they can no longer run to the dining hall for food when their mini fridge runs out. Luckily, Bed Bath & Beyond truly is a one-stop shop for all things home related.
Help them swap those twin XL bed linens for ones that will fit the style in their new space, grab a kitchen gadget that makes meal prepping a breeze, or treat themselves to the luxury that every adult appreciates – some fluffy new towels.
Life looks very different after college. Even after you have a degree in hand, you still have a lot of learning to do. For many former college students, the first few months after graduation can be full of big choices and big changes. That makes self-help books for recent grads a popular gift… but if you aren’t quite sure yet what life will throw at them (and who is?), a Barnes & Noble gift card will give them the option to find the resource that will help them weather whatever storm is on their horizon.
On the flip side, after the textbooks have been shelved, many former students find themselves with something they haven’t had in years – time to read for fun. A B&N gift card also gives them the option to relax a little with a casual read… maybe the first one they’ve gotten to enjoy since heading off to school!
We’ll settle the Sheetz vs. Wawa debate once and for all with a vote for Sheetz. Your graduate will love that they can get all the fuel they need for their next adventure – from gas for their car to a wide range of fresh, tasty food – in one place. Plus, we love that Sheetz has a reputation for treating its employees well. It seems like an important value to look for when picking out a gift card for someone who will be heading into the workforce themself.
For folks graduating this year, the phrase “department store” might conjure up images of warehouse-like stores tucked away at the edge of the mall, and childhood back-to-school shopping trips there with moms and grandmas during the early aughts. Nordstrom offers a more elevated experience, with sleek stores, luxury clothing brands, and plenty of high-end home goods to help transform your former-student’s college set up to something that feels a bit more sophisticated.
Cooking for yourself is a big undertaking, especially when you’re first starting out. For their entire life, your favorite grad has been able to rely on someone else to put meals on the table. Whether it was mom or dad or the campus dining hall, someone else had to deal with buying groceries and figuring out what to put on the table every night.
An UberEats gift card is the perfect graduation gift because it gives them the freedom to relax in the evening after a long day of work. Instead of worrying because they forgot to get something out of the freezer to thaw or didn’t pile ingredients into the slow cooker before work, they can simply sit back, relax, and wait for their favorite comfort food to be delivered to their doorstep.
This one is for the young dog moms and dads out there. Most universities don’t allow pets in the dorm, so getting a four-legged friend of their very own is high on the post-graduation to-do list for many college students. And while adopting a furry friend can fill their life with wagging tails and wet puppy kisses, it also comes with plenty of responsibility. What happens next time they have to head home for the holidays? Or want to book a vacation to see their friends in the cities they’ve scattered to?
That’s where Dogtopia comes in. It’s everything an aspiring pet parent could need to care for their dog, all in one place. With spa services to pamper their pooch, daycare to keep them entertained while mom or dad is at work, and boarding to keep Fido safe during longer trips away, a Dogtopia gift card is perfect for any aspiring dog owner.
Technology is a blessing and a curse. Studies show again and again that social media has a negative impact on a person’s ability to connect with their peers and their mental health in general – but with video games, it’s a different story. Research actually shows that video games can be an important social space – especially when gamers don’t have the option of seeing their loved ones in person.
For young adults leaving their school days behind and heading out into the real world, that ability to connect is essential. Through the marathon of big changes they’ll be facing – choosing a job, finding a place to live, possibly moving far away – it’s important to maintain a support network. And sometimes staying in touch with the people they played Smash Brothers with on the weekends or planning an online COD night is just what the doctor ordered.
GameStop is a great option if you’re looking for a graduation gift for a gamer. With online and brick and mortar shopping options, your soon-to-be former student can pick up the latest title or upgrade their controller from wherever post-college life takes them.
If none of these ideas have quite fit the bill, consider creating your own custom Visa gift card. It’s easy to do – in just a few clicks, you can personalize your present with your graduate’s name, a message, and even a photo. Visa gift cards can be used anywhere that accepts Visa credit cards, so your soon-to-be-former student can use it practically anywhere they want.
Graduation is an exciting moment in any person’s life – not only is it a big achievement, it’s also a fresh start. We hope that these gifts have given you some ideas of how to help the student in your life transition into life in “the real world,” but if you’re still looking for the last-minute gift, head over to GiftYa to check out our full catalog.