27 Cool Gifts That College Grads Actually Want

Gabrielle Savoie

In a famous commencement speech by David Foster Wallace to the graduating class of 2005 at Kenyon College, the author describes two fish swimming along and crossing paths with an older fish who says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?”—to which the puzzled young fish reply: “What the hell is water?” The point Wallace makes in this poignant speech is that beyond hopes, dreams, and ambition, we all exist in the monotony of everyday life, and the best we can do is to be aware of how we react to the frustrations in the trenches of everyday life, to be more present, and to spread more kindness and positivity—even in the worst situations.

As your loved one graduates college and enters adult life, the best you can do is gift them with something that will enhance their everyday life and prepares them for the experiences they are about to live. Whether it’s as simple as giving them the tools to cook a healthy meal or travel accessories to encourage them to explore the world, these chic gifts promote a more organized life and smarter daily routines, so that they can focus on the important stuff: being mindful and present in every moment.

What is the best graduation gift you’ve received?

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