Here Are The Practical Gifts That Will De-Stress, Motivate And Inspire Grads

We've got the ultimate gift guide from affirmation 8 balls to monogrammed swag.

It's college graduation season, that time of the year when we find ourselves listening to "Pomp and Circumstance" on repeat and writing lengthy Instagram tributes to our grads. But it's always nice to give them a gift, too, as a send-off into the real world.

As someone who graduated just this time last year, (NYU class of 2014, whaddup), I still have fond memories of the thoughtful tokens that came my way. So I scoured both the Internet and the crevasses of my soul to find the gifts that I think any grad would appreciate. Here's what I found.

'The Only Thing You Buy That Makes You Richer'

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Why they'll love it: We know an airline ticket can be a bit on the pricey side, so maybe get a few family members or close friends to gift your grad with a ticket to a cool destination. As the Pinterest-famous saying goes, "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer."

Where to get it: Delta, JetBlue, American Airlines -- to name a few. Prices will vary (obvi).

Big Dry Erase Board ... For Big Ideas


Why they'll love it: It's a big space for your grad to fill with big ideas. Whether those ideas are doodles or the blueprint for the next Facebook, we're confident a dry-erase board will come in handy.

Where to get it: No need to overthink this one -- Amazon has a ton of them in various sizes and prices.

A Ceramic Mug For Your First Office Desk


Why they'll love it: Whether your grad is sipping tea, coffee or good ol' H2O from it, a mug is something they'll carry around with them all the time. They'll get to carry around the memory, too (a little corny but c'mon, it's true). Also, it'll bring a splash of decor to a grad's first office desk.

Where to get it: There are tons of options online, but in my opinion, Urban Outfitters' mug game is the strongest. They've got a broad selection of mugs for Beyoncé lovers, caffeine enthusiasts, cat ladies and much more.

The 'Key' To Avoiding Mishaps


Why they'll love it: Don't underestimate the value of this -- this is an item worthy of a splurge. A good keychain will keep your grad's apartment/grad school dorm keys from slipping off at the club/gym/dark movie theater. This happens more often than you think, and I'm 100 percent speaking from personal experience.

Where to get it: This Coach banana keychain is on Tradesy for $39. But check out Etsy for one-of-a-kind, high quality keychains that fit your price range.

'The Career Playbook'

Crown Business

career playbook

Why they'll love it: The real world is not for the faint of heart. Thankfully, James Citrin's "The Career Playbook" will give your grad tons of great info on how to secure a job they'll adore.

Where to get it: Amazon.com, $11.71.

Because Everyone Loves Monogrammed Swag


Why they'll love it: Let's be real: Everyone loves monogrammed swag. Also, getting soda at the movie theaters/sporting events is expensive -- it's a good way to save a few $$ and flex those financially-responsible-young-adult muscles.

Where to get it: Liquid Courage has a ton of flasks to peruse, including ones you can personalize and even college-specific options.

For The Creative Virtuoso


Why they'll love it: This is a perfect gift for any grad who's a photographer, artist or creative virtuoso. You can have your grad's art printed onto an iPhone case so they can display their work anytime, anywhere.

Where to get it: Inkdot is a great service for this. You can upload a photo directly from your grad's Facebook or Instagram and go from there! (iPhone 4/4S through iPhone 6 Plus are supported, all cases are $34.99 plus tax).

An Affirmation Ball

Julia Panek/MTV


Why they'll love it: The real world can be really stressful and mini-meltdowns are to be expected. An affirmation ball is a magic 8 ball that only gives you compliments, like "you're a winner!" and "people like you!" A real charm.

Where to get it: Amazon via Accoutrements, $9.74.

A Good Calendar You'll Actually Use

Julia Panek/MTV


Why they'll love it: Putting appointments in your phone can be helpful, but there's something to be said for physically writing things down, so that they STARE YOU IN THE FACE AND YOU NEVER FORGET THEM. It helps to look at cute animals, too.

Where to get it: Calendars.com has got you covered.

Weekly, Monthly, And/Or Daily Planners

Julia Panek/MTV


Why they'll love it: A small planner is easy to throw into a pocket or bag and it's a great way to stay organized. Also, should your grad's phone should meet its watery demise in a puddle or large body of water, it's good to have a planner on hand.

Where to get it: Target has a great selection. But if you're feeling fancy, check out Moleskine.

Oh, The Places You'll Go!


Why they'll love it: It's a timeless classic for a good reason. It's the perfect way to mark this milestone and get your grad excited for the many that lie ahead.

Where to get it: Barnes & Noble, $9.99.

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