As Semisonic said in their 1998 hit “Closing Time,” every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. The Class of 2024 is preparing to turn their tassels and graduate, while their families and friends are prepping to celebrate. But what gift will make yours stand out from the rest? Here are some thoughtful, unique gift ideas for the grad in your life, tailored to help them begin their new journeys.

Our pick for best portable monitor, the Asus ZenScreen MB16ACV, plugged into a laptop in front of a blue background.
Photo by: Dave Gershgorn for NY Times

1. Portable Monitor

Technology continues to evolve and new gadgets make excellent gifts for grads ready to tackle the future. While portable monitors aren’t anything new, they’ve become much more affordable and much less complicated, using USB cables to connect and charge instead of a variety of unique cords. An extra screen for presentations, working on a project, or even playing video games can elevate the technology the grad already has. 

2. Custom Artwork

Personalized gifts hold sentimental value that grads can cherish for years. Commission an artist to create a piece of custom artwork tailored to reflect the graduate’s interests, aspirations, or memorable moments. Whether it’s a painting of their college campus, a custom portrait of their dog, or something that symbolizes their future career, this gift offers a unique blend of personalization and sophistication. 

Photo by: German-skydiver via Adobe

3. Experiences

Help the graduate in your life start their next beginning off with a unique experience. Tickets to concerts, vouchers for travel, or memberships to museums and gyms offer opportunities for enjoyment and personal growth. If your grad is more of an adventure seeker, consider gifting a skydiving trip, scuba diving lessons, or a guided tour in a city they’ve always wanted to visit.

Women holding blouses by a clothing rack
Photo by: pixelshot

4. Wardrobe Upgrades

For grads transitioning into the professional world, a wardrobe upgrade can be both a necessary and appreciated gift. Gift cards to stores with professional attire allows them to pick out their new threads. Or, take it a step farther and book them a consultation with a stylist who can help them put their best foot forward for interviews, networking events, and office life.

5. Practical Home Essentials

Whether the grad is moving into a dorm or a new apartment, home items like small appliances, kitchenware, or high-quality bedding can be extremely useful and appreciated. Consider a sleek coffeemaker, a smart Crock Pot, a set of soft and comfortable sheets, or a set of durable dishes. 

6. Financial Planning Tools

As young adults learn to manage their finances, gifts like a session with a financial planner, a book on personal finance, or even contributions to a Roth IRA can provide a foundational benefit that impacts their future and sets a precedent for financial habits.


Choosing the right gift for a 2024 graduate doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether it’s a practical item to ease their transition, a personalized keepsake to remind them of their journey, or an experience to celebrate their accomplishments, the best gifts are those that show your pride and support as they step into their next adventure.

Need a few more ideas? Check out our 2023 and 2022 graduate gift guides. If you’re planning a grad party, our tools can help.

Kadi McDonald is a freelance writer, marketing strategist, and proud Cleveland sports fan.