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Graduation season can be overwhelming when trying to find the best gifts. This post is all about graduation gift ideas 2021 graduates need! 

Giving a graduation gift you are confident the graduate will love can be hard. I know you may be tempted to give someone dorm decor that you think they will like, but sometimes that's not the best idea. Take it from me, after graduation season I ended up with a lot of things that were not the style I was going for, or that I didn't even end up bringing to college. 

In this list of graduation gift ideas, there are things that I received as a gift and used daily in college, as well as things I would have LOVED to receive as a graduation present. 

This post is all about graduation gift ideas 2021.


1. Satin Sleep Set 

My mom got me this satin sleep set before I went away to college and it was the best gift ever! Satin pillowcases are so good for your skin and your hair, and also a lot more affordable than the silk ones made by slip (but those are also a great option too!)

2. Birchbox Subscription

graduation gift idea 2021

A subscription box is such a fun gift to receive because it's a surprise every time you get it! Birchbox is one of my personal favorites because you can customize what type of products you want to get and each month the packaging is so fun. 

When gifting a subscription, you can choose a 3, 6, or 12 month duration. 

3. Hydro Flask

Every college student has a Hydro Flask, or maybe even more than one! They really are the best - they keep your water cold for so long and really make you drink more water throughout the day.

There are so many color options, you really can't go wrong with this graduation gift idea. 

4. College Stickers for Hydro Flask

If your gifting a Hydro Flask, you could make it meaningful & fun by also giving the grad these cute stickers with their college name! Adding something personalized to a gift makes it that much better. 

Redbubble has stickers for EVERYTHING, so search for any school to find the perfect addition to a Hydro Flask or even use them as a gift on their own! 

5. Notebook

graduation gift ideas

How fun is this notebook? I feel like having this on my desk in college would maybe make me take better notes... maybe 😉

Seriously though, this notebook is so cute and it comes in so many different beautiful designs and patterns. 

6. Personalized Stationery

high school graduation 2021

After graduation season, there are so many thank you notes to write. As seen in Vogue, these Papier personalized cards would be so cute to send as thank you notes or to take with you to college and send notes to family and friends. 

7. Mini Waffle Maker 

I have one of these at home and when I was away at college I WISHED I had brought it with me. How fun would it be to have mini waffles with your roomies on the weekends? 

There are so many different colors and patterns to choose from with these waffle makers, making them one of my favorite graduation gift ideas 2021 graduates will obsess over.

8. Portable Charger

A portable charger is a must-have in college. This is one of the best portable chargers on the market because it's super easy to charge and its slender shape makes it easy to take with you anywhere. 

I love that you can charge it easily by just plugging into a standard outlet and there are no cords to lose! 

9. Cozy Blanket 

graduation gift ideas for her

Barefoot Dreams blankets are SO pricey and I always questioned how good they could really be... 3 words: worth. the. hype. 

I received this blanket as a gift and it is probably my most used gift ever. Any grad would love this cozy addition to a dorm room. 

10. Pencils

These pencils have been on my desk for years and I brought them with me to my college dorm because they are the perfect addition to any desk and always brightened my day.

These would make such a cute, small gift that would pair well with stationery or a planner.  

11. Wrist Lanyard Keychain Holder

In college nobody carries their purse around campus, instead most people have these wrist lanyards or a normal lanyard to hold onto their dorm key and ID card. I love this trendy cheetah option, but there are so many other pattern options that are sure to please every grad!

12. Leggings

graduation gifts 2021

Lululemon leggings are definitely pricey, but SO worth it. I was skeptical too, but trust me, once you go lulu, you don't go back. 

Gifting a colored pair of leggings is so fun because it's something people don't think to buy for themselves, unlike black leggings that many girls already have. This is one of those graduation gift ideas 2021 grads will never turn down.

13. Disposable Camera

Remember when polaroid cameras were all the hype? Now it's all about the disposable camera aesthetic. 

Every 2021 graduate will love this gift idea, whether it is the traditional option from Amazon or the trendy, patterned option from Urban Outfitters. 

14. Potted House Plant

2021 graduation gift ideas

Everyone always admired my plants in my dorm room, so what better thing to gift than a beautiful plant in a super cute, minimalist pot? You can choose what color pot you want and get shipped to your front door! 

This trendy small business is sure to impress all 2021 grads!

15. Initial Earrings

high school graduation gift 2021

These initial earrings are such a sweet, staple piece that any girl would love. The initials definitely add a personal touch to the gift, making it more special. 

These earrings are on my wishlist, and I would be so excited to receive these as a graduation gift. 

16. Cold Brew Coffee Maker 

graduation gift ideas 2021 for her

I went to Starbucks almost every single day in college, so this cold brew coffee maker would have saved me so much time and money! The simple french press style coffee maker is super convenient and can sit in your fridge all week. 

Coffee is a MUST for college students and I think this would be such a unique and useful gift. 

17. Air Fryer

Another thing I WISH I had brought with me to college: an air fryer! An air fryer is basically a countertop convection oven, what better cooking tool to have in a dorm room? 

You can make anything in this small appliance and I think it makes an awesome graduation gift that will be extremely utilized from their dorm life to their college apartment. 

18. Slippers

Best. Slippers. Ever. 

2021 grads will be all over these super cozy and stylish slippers! Walking to and from communal bathrooms and around the dorm will be 100x better in these.

(I may or may not be wearing them while writing this)

19. Card Game 

high school graduation gift idea

I have seen this game, We're Not Really Strangers, all over social media! I think it would be so much fun to play this game with roommates and get to know each other. 

The creators claim that this game is "all about empowering meaningful connections”, which is perfect for making new friends in college. 

20. Another card game 

Here's another super fun, trendy card game that would be such a fun ice breaker in college. 

This game puts a hilarious spin on a game we all played growing up, making it such a fun nostalgic gift for 2021 graduates. 

21. Perfume

graduation gift idea

An expensive perfume is something that most girls want but probably never treat themselves to. I would be thrilled to receive perfume as a graduation gift to go into my next chapter feeling and smelling good. 

Marc Jacobs Daisy Love is one of my favorite scents of all time and I think every girl would love it just as much as I do. 

22. Undated Planner

graduation gift 2021

Another thing I have (and LOVE) is this "to-do" planner. This planner is super laid back and the design is so unique and trendy. 

I love that it is undated and can be utilized for years to come, making it the perfect gift for high school graduates. 

23. Personalized Robe

2021 graduation gifts

One of my roommates had a personalized robe and I was always so jealous! Snagging one of these for a high school grad headed to college would be such a smart gift idea. 

The personalized factor of this gift makes it so much more meaningful and the grad will always remember you when wearing it! 

24. Bluetooth Speaker

This speaker is made to specifically be portable and waterproof which makes it so great for college students who are always on the go. I forgot my bluetooth speaker at home when I went to college and I was dying without it! 

The JBL GO2 speaker would make such a good gift that would definitely be used often. 

25. Portable Blender

This is another thing that I wished I had brought with me to college. I love that it can be charged with a USB and that it is small enough to be stored in a desk drawer! 

This is an inexpensive and fun gift that 2021 graduates may not have even thought to bring with them to college. 

26. Mildliners

These highlighters take note taking to the next level. Having these fun pens made me excited to take pages and pages of notes in my college classes. 

Paired with a notebook or a planner, these Mildliner pens could complete a perfect graduation gift. 

27. Loopy Case

graduation gift ideas for her 2021

I seriously can not express how much I love my loopy case.

They are a little more pricey for a phone case, but I never drop my phone anymore and I can carry a ton of stuff while still carrying my phone. 

There are a ton of fun patterns on their site that every college student will like. 

28. Insulated Coffee Mug

Like I said before, college kids SURVIVE on coffee. This mug keeps my coffee hot for hours which is perfect for studying or long classes. 

There are so many color choices, making this a great gift for boys or girls on their graduation day. You could even add one of the Redbubble college stickers listed above!

29. Herschel Backpack

graduation gift idea for her

Herschel backpacks are not only super cute, but they are also very durable and have pockets for everything you need. I love this style that features a laptop sleeve that would be perfect for college students walking around campus. 

30. Blue Light Blocking Glasses 

I have the bottom pair and my brother has the top pair. We both LOVE blue light glasses for our classes that require a lot of work on the computer.

Buying blue light blocking glasses for a 2021 grad is a thoughtful and practical gift that they will definitely get good use of! 

31. Essential Oil Diffuser

My suite mate had an essential oil diffuser and her room always smelled so fresh and clean. You can help any graduate achieve the same thing in their dorm room with an essential oil diffuser. 

Pairing the diffuser with a set of basic essential oils would make an amazing gift. 

32. Bracelet

2021 graduation jewlery

Mantrabands are super simple pieces of jewelry that would be loved by any grad. This sweet bracelet looks like a classic cuff from the outside, but the inside is a constant reminder of your achievements. 

I think this is a nice, meaningful gift that any 2021 graduate would cherish. 

33. Letter Board

A letter board is honestly a college staple at this point. So many people have them because they are such simple, versatile decorations.

If you are stuck and don't know what to get someone, get them this letter board and write "congrats grad" on it! Write their name and yours and it doubles as a card 😉

34. College Student Cookbook 

Gag gift! This one speaks for itself. Pair with some Top Ramen noodles for a funny, unique package!

35. Photo Clip String Lights

College students have to try and get creative with lighting in the poorly lit dorms. String lights are a super fun way to add to a space, but these photo clip string lights are even more fun. 

Any 2021 grad would be excited about hanging these lights in their dorm to display photos from home and photos with their new friends they have made at school. 

36. Gift Cards!

The BEST gift I received for high school graduation was a $200 gift card to Trader Joe's. That was the only grocery store on my school campus, and I never had to pay for my own groceries once! 

My best advice is to find out what grocery stores are on or nearby the 2021 grad's college campus and give them gift cards to those stores! 

37. Cash

Still struggling with a gift idea? You really can't go wrong with cash!

Everyone is happy to receive this gift, and it gives the grad the flexibility to buy what they want and need before they go to college or while they are there! 

This post was all about the best graduation gift ideas 2021 edition. 

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