The best graduation gifts – Los Angeles Times

Graduation is near, and as a grad myself, I know well the time and effort that goes into earning a professional degree. From sleepless nights to endless hours of homework, graduation is a time to celebrate hard work and success.

One thing to keep in mind is that life after graduation is different for everyone. Whatever path your graduating senior decides to take, this gift guide will provide you with gifts to support their personal journey.

Money is a really good classic

A woman holds dollar, 10 and 20 bills in front of four small stacks of cash.

Honestly, school is expensive and time consuming. That’s why you won’t go wrong with the classic gift of money. As I’m about to graduate, let me tell you, cash really is king. And Venmo or Zelle are fine! Some graduates may even like it.

Sharing words of wisdom from pioneering women

Cover of "Collective wisdom: Lessons, inspiration, and advice from women over 50"

Graduation is a stressful time for both high school and college students. When you don’t have the right words to encourage someone at this important time in their life, let author Grace Bonney lend a hand. Her book Collective Intelligence: Lessons, Inspiration, and Advice from Women Over 50 includes 111 stories from pioneers such as writer Roxane Gay, community leader and activist Miss Major’s action.

🛍️ Available on Amazon or at Book Soup in West Hollywood

Variations of traditional jewelry gifts

A black and pink Apple Watch

Instead of the traditional graduation gift of jewelry, choose a tech-inspired accessory — like the Apple Watch. Graduates can apply the Reflect feature, which encourages the wearer to rest and breathe throughout the day.

🛍️ Available at Apple Stores or Online

Sleek protection for electronics

Black leather laptop envelope

Laptops have been my lifeline this year in graduate school. My worst fear is ruining it with cracks and scratches. Help the grads in your life protect this sacred object with a laptop bag. Merchandise in LA sells leather products that help protect electronic devices like laptops in stylish leather cases.

🛍️ Available at Shop

Encourage mental health checks with this magazine

Madhappy Health Magazine

LA streetwear brand Madhappy promotes mental health through its clothing and accessories. Madhappy Magazine encourages you to regulate your emotions on a daily basis. Graduation season is full of excitement and stress. This magazine is a great gift to help graduate students take the next step in their lives.

🛍️ Available at Madhappy

You can’t go wrong with a signature fragrance

A bottle "Squad" by Capsule Parfumerie

A signature scent can distinguish you in any room. Capsule Parfumerie creates fragrances inspired by the unique culture of Los Angeles. Its gender-neutral scents show “homage to Los Angeles, its artists, neighborhoods and community.” It has a store in LA’s Chinatown and its merchandise is available online.

🛍️ Available at Capsule Parfumerie

A gift for coffee enthusiasts

Verve Coffee Care Package

If your graduate is a coffee lover, this coffee-inspired gift is for them. Verve, a California-based coffee shop, offers manual coffee machines including French presses, chemex pourers, and aeropress machines. Create a coffee care package with different roasts from Verve Coffee and add in a new coffee maker, like the French press. It’s easy to use and your graduates will thank you the next time they need a cup of caffeine to start their day.

🛍️ Available at Verve coffee shops or online

Exercise classes can be a gift that never stops giving

Register for ClassPass

Staying active can reduce stress. Los Angeles has a ton of workout studios to choose from, offering rock climbing, boxing, volleyball and more. But gym class fees add up, and they may not fit the tight budget of fresh graduates. With a ClassPass subscription, graduates can try out different fitness classes throughout LA.

$15-$199 monthly
🛍️ Available at ClassPass

Great art prints

The wall of the gallery of prints Children posters

Poster Child Prints in downtown LA sells limited edition silkscreen prints, art and photography. One of its high-quality prints is sure to make a unique gift for any art-loving graduate.

$17- $5,120
🛍️ Available on children’s poster prints

A simple yet cozy gift idea

Cantrip Candle in "Scriptorium Library"

Light a candle and cuddle up with a good book might be just what a recent graduate needs for a comfortable night out. The Cantrip Candles store in LA produces natural soy candles with unique scents reminiscent of a library, a forest walk, and even a mossy stone-chapel. Pick up the scented candle from the library and share the nostalgic smell of open books with your recent graduates.

🛍️ Available at Cantrip Candles The best graduation gifts – Los Angeles Times

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