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12 Gifts Grads Want This Year

1. Broaden My Horizons

Help her scour the globe. “I want to do some traveling. I am hoping to go somewhere in January. I'm thinking a trip to Italy, but I’m just exploring my options. I am excited to see the world!”

—Lisa Paga, University of Michigan, Dearborn

Gift: Rome Vacation Package; prices vary

2. Give Me Great Gas Mileage

Help him get around on the cheap — and look cool doing it. “If I could pick any item I could have, it would probably be a Ford Fiesta. First off, they get incredible gas mileage. These days companies don't really pay for you to move, so you have to kind of deal with that on your own. A fuel-efficient car is something that comes in handy no matter how far you're commuting. Secondly, they look super rad.”

—Connor LaRowe, Ferris State University (Mich.)

Gift: Ford Fiesta; $14,100 – $21,400 MSRP

3. Help Put the Five-Year Plan in Motion

“I'd like a job and then to pay off my debt and buy a house. Maybe a condo in a city that is growing or a starter home in a suburb ... it all depends on my situation.”

—Caroline Lynch, Michigan State University

Gift: Advice and support (that goes a long way)

4. Show Her a “Real World” Education

Help her further her education in the real world. “I’d love a vacation to France, because it’s the baking and pastry mecca of the world. Having just finished culinary school, I’m all about that.”

—Jessica Vyletel, Schoolcraft College (Mich.)

Gift: Paris Vacation Package; prices vary

5. Fuel Her Hobbies

Help her finally focus on her post-grad hobbies. “I am a writer, but that's my professional life. What I really love to do in my spare time is cook. Therefore, my big wish (and yes, this is big for me) is a really nice set of knives or pans. Either one would make me probably the happiest new-to-the-real-world lady.”

—Sandra Murphy, Champlain College (Vt.)

Gift: Farberware Classic Series 17-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set; $149

6. Set Up Shop

Help him set up shop across the country. “I just moved to Silicon Valley to work as a software engineer, so I would love first and last month's rent for a Craiglist sublet, a new MacBook Air, a monthly pass for public transportation, Amazon gift cards, subscriptions to programming MOOCs, a gym membership, Uber/Lyft credit, cool subscription boxes and home-cooking materials.”

—Andrew Huang, Babson College (Mass.)

Gift: Macbook Air; starting at $899

7. Enter Ivy League Territory

Help him score that Ivy League admission letter. “My wish list is really just a hope. I hope that I can use my undergraduate degree to get into an Ivy League graduate school. That's been my dream ever since I started college almost six years ago.”

—Rafael Santiago, CUNY Baruch College (N.Y.)

Gift: Kaplan Grad School Admissions Counseling; starting at $729

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8. Uncover Her Overseas Dreams

Help her find her dream job overseas. “The only thing I'm wishing for is not exactly a high-paying job offer but a comfortable paying job offer overseas — the dream is Morocco. This would allow me to feel a little less anxious about entering the work force. Gifts aren't really at the top of my list, as I try to consolidate my life and move into the ‘real world.’”

—Kelly Nault, Eckerd College (Fla.)

Gift: Your time and guidance. Try GoAbroad.com for job hunting overseas.

9. Preach Practicality

Help her with practical things. “I want something that I could use in my future apartment, since I am moving out. We will have a party with family, so I am going to ask for any old stuff that I could take with me. My grandma has a set of dishes, another has silverware. When [my sister] Lauren moved out, my uncle found an old dining set for her and fixed it up. I would want something that I actually need and could use.”

—Alyssa Strandbergh, University of Michigan

Gift: One-of-a-kind hand-me-downs, or new practical items like Target’s 5-Piece Dolce Dining Set; $449

10. Feed Her Addictions

“A Starbucks budget! In college, coffee is everywhere and free. I'm not sure how I'll be able to feed my addiction next year, and I'm pretty terrified of caffeine withdrawal. Also, I’d like all the books on my to-read list on Goodreads. I’ve never read 'The Kite Runner,' 'The Lean Startup,' 'A People's History,' 'The Five-Minute Linguist,' '1984' ... Now I'll finally have time to read for fun — hopefully.”

—Amelia Friedman, Brown University (R.I.)

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Gift: Reloadable Starbucks Card; prices vary

11. Fill Out Her Workwear Wardrobe

Help her put her best foot forward. “I've been slowly building my professional wardrobe over the past few years, and I'm searching for a black leather satchel to bring things together as I enter the professional world. I've looked at a few, but my favorite is the Ralph Lauren Newbury Satchel.”

—Malena Carollo, Eckerd College (Fla.)

Gift: Ralph Lauren Newbury Satchel; $298

12. Find Fun Furniture

Help her create a new space with character and charm. “I am on the hunt for a desk for my room. Not a big one, just a cute piece with character, and just enough space for my computer and stationery!”

—Meagan Strickland, University of Michigan

Gift: Pottery Barn Meredith Smart Technology Vanity Desk; $499

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