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Graduating from college can be pretty intimidating; make sure that your loved ones are ready to be shipped off into the "real world" to start their careers. Click through to shop the best gifts for grads, all broken down by major!
The Art Major
So you're gifting someone who studied painting, photography, theater or one of the countless other artistic fields over the past four years. Creative types deserve creative—and show-stopping—gifts. Don't settle for a run-of-the-mill piece of jewelry or a card stuffed with money (actually, wait—that last one is always a great last-minute gift!). Click through to shop one of these gifts instead.
A Portfolio
A professional-grade portfolio book is an invaluable gift for any type of artist. Presentation of one's work is crucial, although a book like this one comes at a price tag that may not often be feasible for the young and starving artist. Help her out and (hopefully!) give her the boost needed to launch her career!
A Steady Flow of Art Supplies
Any artist will tell you that one of their biggest problems (and costs) is constantly running through their supplies. Why not give yours the gift of a year's worth of art supplies with a handy subscription box?
Equipment Cleaning and Care
Help your artistic grad protect her expensive tools with a kit that contains all of the clean-up necessities.
Smartphone Photo Lenses
As a photo buff, I know that it's a pain to constantly haul around heavy duty DSLR equipment. For the photo major on your list, why not gift her a set of mini lenses that will turn her smartphone into a professional-grade camera?
High-Tech Art Gadgets
3D printing is all the rage right now, but at-home printers will run you upwards of a thousand dollars. On a smaller scale, this 3D pen allows any doodler to turn her sketches into something tangible, redefining the way we make art in the 21st century.
The Science Major
I imagine that being a science major of any sort is probably pretty difficult, but depending on what field yours focuses in, there are some pretty cool presents you can give. Click through to take a look at some neat gifts that will make any scientist squeal with delight.
An Engaging Non-Fiction Book
An intellectually stimulating book by your grad friend's favorite scientist can help keep her creative juices flowing, even if she takes a job that doesn't directly relate to her field of interest.
Quirky Ways to Incorporate Science Into Everyday Life
Lots of people enjoy playing with their food. But on a Venn diagram, the overlap between people who like to play with their food and people who really enjoy chemistry is probably not so big. Regardless, I'm willing to bet that this molecular gastronomy kit was created specifically with that small demographic in mind.
Scientific Anomalies
Miracle berries are a scientific anomaly—no one can quite explain why, but when taken prior to eating sour or bitter foods, these berries alter your tastebuds, making the food in question taste sweet. Gift them to your scientist friend—maybe she will be the first to crack the code!
A Scientific Mystery
Both my inner nerd and Law and Order fan squealed in delight to know that gel electrophoresis can exist outside of the genetics class lab room. What better way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon than by solving a fake crime—or better yet, using the kit to extract your own DNA?
Space Camp
I personally never had the opportunity to go to space camp as a small child, and it has left an irreparable void in my heart. If, like me, you have a recently-graduated friend who deals with this same daily struggle, buy them a three- or four-day space camp experience that will surely make up for lost time.
The Business Major
At my university, the business majors were a powerful force—they were the ones who made us all look bad when they strutted down the street in their suits while everyone else was wearing some combination of the sweatpants- or jeans-plus-hoodie combination. I see this as a direct testament to their future success. Reward all of the future business leaders in your life for all of their hard work with one of these great gift options!
Ease the Stress of Constant Travel
It's quite common for many business types to constantly be on the road for their job. One of the biggest frustrations is worrying about having TSA-approved versions of all of one's liquids and favorite beauty products. Ease the stress of travel for your friend by making sure she always has her beauty products with a deluxe travel packaging kit.
A Sturdy and Professional Briefcase
A sleek and durable briefcase is a great gift. Not only will it make a strong professional statement at any job interview, but a well-made briefcase will last a lifetime.
Make Networking Seem Second-Nature
Any young entrepreneur will tell you that networking is truly key in achieving one's life goals. But it's hard to leave a lasting impression if you don't literally leave behind tangible memorabilia of your existence—most commonly in the form of a business card. Printing quality business cards can be quite pricey, particularly for someone who is just being launched into the world—so why not give your grad a hand with that?
Custom Threads
Chances are, your business major friend or family member already has a decent stock of suiting pieces and dress shirts. But does she have anything that is 100 percent custom-made to her body? Probably not, and you can be sure that such a suit will only further boost her confidence and fuel her entrepreneurial spirit.
Help Her Unwind After a Hectic Week
All of the hard work of being a business person surely takes its toll—help your friend to unwind and take a moment for herself with a day—or even just an afternoon—at a spa.
The Liberal Arts Major
"Liberal Arts" is a term that covers a wide array of studies—English literature, creative writing, political science and history, among an endless list of others. Click through to shop gifts for any and every liberal arts major that you know!
Easy Access to an Endless Supply of Books
I love going to the library, but that's probably because I live right next to the New York Public Library—yes, the famous one on Fifth Avenue. Otherwise, the library reminds me of stuffy buildings with books with odd-smelling pages. Spare your lit major friend from ever facing this fate again with a book rental subscription service that lets her access all of her favorite titles—both new and old—whenever she pleases.
A Journalist's Staple
One of the most important tools in a journalist's arsenal is a voice recorder to capture every moment of her breaking interviews. These days, many people rely solely on the capabilities of their smartphones, but I say don't leave anything up to chance.
A Historical Adventure
The ultimate gift for any history buff would be a guided tour through one of our nation's various historical landmarks, but even cooler would be an overnight stay at a haunted bed and breakfast. Would you be brave enough to join?
Lighten the Weight of Her Book Bag
A Kindle allows your bookworm pal to catch up on all of those literary classics that fell by the wayside when she was too busy defending her thesis. Plus, she'll never have to make a hasty choice as to which Jane Austen title to carry with her during the day—she'll have them all!
Notebooks
Often, a writer's inspiration arrives in random spurts without warning. This is all fine and good, so long as she's prepared to capture those thoughts. The gift of a beautifully embossed or decorated journal will not only ensure that she's always ready, but will also perhaps provide some inspiration of its own.
The Music Major
A lot of work goes into being a music major of any sort—countless hours of rehearsal, the cost of instruments, loss of inhibitions (at least if you're singing all of your emotions, à la Bright Eyes), and so on. Make sure that it all pays off by nurturing your musician friend's talent with the following gifts!
Music-Related Crafts
No stringed-instrument player signed up to be a carpenter, but I feel like she will have an even deeper appreciation of her music if she can truly understand the process—all the way down to the creation of the instrument itself. Plus, it's kind of fun to decorate a ukulele, no?
Snazzy Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones, while incredibly useful, can sometimes be bulky and gaudy, and it's entirely likely that someone who spends all her time focusing on music probably doesn't care too much about her appearance. Save your friend from a fashion disaster with these sleek headphones.
An Endless Stream of Music
For those who are truly passionate music listeners, it is almost impossible to collect and catalog every band/genre/album that they like into their own personal collection. Give the gift of unlimited streaming, so that those folks can bounce around from artist to artist without having to constantly rotate playlists on their iPod.
dj tools
Vinyls make great room decorations—for the average hipster. Maybe you have one such friend who has quite the collection...that's currently collecting dust. Put those bad boys to use the way they were intended with a retro-inspired record player (or, if all else fails, melt them and make neat sculptures!).
Season Passes to Their Favorite Concert Venue
For those who love the performing arts, season passes to their local concert venue or theater are great gifts. If this is too costly or otherwise not feasible, the next best thing is a subscription to on-demand performances.