7 Graduation Presents To Give Your Partner When They Finish School

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It's been a minute since I've graduated from school. To be exact, 4.2 million minutes. (Hi, I'm old!) But with age comes wisdom, and some perspective on what kinds of things are truly useful out here in the real world. Hot tip: Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss is not one of those useful things. It will sit on your shelf forever. I don't mean to sound heartless, or as though I don't believe in thoughtful gifts; I just believe that the transition from college to adulthood is major, and if you want to give your partner a graduation gift to mark the occasion, why not make it something that will help them navigate this transition? A children's book might not be the most practical option out there.

I graduated from Boston College in 2010 on an unseasonably hot May day, exceedingly hungover from a week of celebrating. What would have been useful to me as a graduation gift would have been a Gatorade, four Advil, a back rub, and the gift of not being judged while I laid around on the couch for the entire next day. When I moved to New York after graduation, the most useful gift someone could have given me would have been a broker's fee or, you know, the listing for an East Village apartment that actually had kitchen cabinets.

I'm not saying you need to find your partner an apartment, or buy them something useful but boring like hangers for their closet. But the best graduation gifts are the kind that say, "Bye, college. Welcome, adulthood!" You're trading Solo cups for actual glassware; beer-soaked rugs for hardwood floors. Here are seven gifts you can get your partner for graduation this year.

1A Gift Certificate To An Excellent Restaurant

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The best part about leaving college for a regular job is that you no longer have homework. Going out to drinks or dinner on a weeknight is a totally normal occurrence as an adult, but it is a particularly thrilling activity to do the first few months after graduating. Pick a nice, Infatuation-approved restaurant in your partner's new city or neighborhood, and get them a gift certificate. Bonus points: this means they might take you along as their dinner companion.

2An IKEA Gift Card

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New apartment plus starting salary minus old leather couch from the '80s that you had in college equals IKEA! An IKEA gift certificate is more than your average present in that it is bold useful and experiential — who doesn't love a trip to IKEA? (Meatball me!) There's no way a gift card to IKEA goes unused by your partner, especially if they are moving to a new city. Ask for an invite on the actual trip to the store.

3A Nespresso Machine

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Or any easy-to-use at home coffee machine. While local coffee spots are great, adulthood and real jobs mean waking up a heck of a lot earlier than you did in college. Coffee at home becomes a luxury. Your partner will appreciate this gesture, no doubt.

4Brand Spankin' New Linens

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New life, new linens. Or maybe that's just something I say? Still, what could be a better "welcome to being adult" gift for your partner than a new set of linens from someplace like Brooklinen or Parachute? Just say no to those weird flannel sheets everyone had in college. And for an added bonus yet again: you'll definitely get to enjoy the sheets too.

5A MetroCard Or Other Transit Pass

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If your partner is moving to New York, getting them a majorly overloaded MetroCard is a sweet and specific way of saying, "Good luck and here we go!" If your partner happens to be moving to a city that's not the same as yours, you could gift them an Amtrak ticket to visit you. I love how thoughtful and useful this gift idea is.

6An Amazon Echo

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OK, to be transparent, I'm mostly including an Alexa because I really want one. Or at least, I think I do, as long as she doesn't weirdly cackle at me. If your partner is into gadgets like this, an Echo is a great gift for someone who is going to have a lot of new commitments and plans in the world of being an adult with a job.

7A Framed Piece Of Art

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With a new apartment comes the realization that nothing you hung on your walls in college is appropriate for your expensive AF apartment. I think a great gift idea is to find a nice piece of art — whatever floats your partner's boat — and get it framed for them. Framing is expensive, and having a photograph all set to hang on the wall will be a welcome addition to a mostly sparse new apartment. Art.com has beautiful prints that come with frames, and almost always has some kind of killer sale running.