11 Unconventional Graduation Gifts For 2016 That Are Way More Exciting Than An Engraved Pen

After watching a beloved student pour all her sweat and blood into her college studies for four years, it totally makes sense that you want to reward her with some awesome unconventional graduation gifts. While gift stores are stocked with pens, frames, and keychains you can personalize with a new grad's name, these presents all feel a little been there, done that. And besides, you know that's what everyone else will be getting her. Thankfully, there are some amazing one-of-a-kind presents out there that will make any new grad happy while making sure you stand out of the crowd of gift-givers.

For many students, graduation means a first real apartment and a first real job. So why not get the new grad something that will actually make her feel like the empowered woman she is as she makes the transition into the real world? Anyone who's been through it knows how freaky post-graduation life can be, so any help from your family and friends means the world. To help you out in your quest for the perfect unique graduation gift, I've rounded up 11 presents she'll be sure to enjoy — and actually use. The best part of all these gifts? Knowing she has people who love her and have her back.

1. Motivational Poster

Everyone could use a little authenticity reminder as they set out in their professional life.

Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons print, $16.99, BeauTypographie

2. Letters To My Future Self

A present from the grad to her future self. Each of the 12 letters in this set comes with a prompt to encourage self-reflection.

Letters To My Future Self, $14.95, UncommonGoods

3. Grownup PJs

Help a student graduate from the ratty t-shirt and shorts she calls a pajama set.

Vintage short-sleeve pajama set, $85.00, J.Crew

4. Bartending Glasses

Your grad is sure to become a bartending wiz in no time with these handy glasses, each featuring a different spirit with four cocktail recipes.

Bartending Glasses Set Of 4, $20.00, Kikkerland

5. An On-Point Cookbook

You can go with the traditional Joy of Cooking, or you can get the grad something a little cheekier for their first non-college apartment.

The Hungoevr Cookbook, $9.99, ModCloth

6. A Non-Backpack Bag

Because she'll need something to carry to all those job interviews.

Cedar Street Hayden, $358.00, Kate Spade

7. Passport Cover

Whether it's to go live abroad or just for a weekend getaway, everyone who's ever felt any wanderlust needs a snazzy passport cover.

Personalized Leather Passport Cover, $44.99, RSVPhandcrafted

8. A Practical Door Mat

Cute and practical, this mat comes with a helpful reminder not to burn the place down.

Turn off your Curling Iron™ Decorative Door Mat, $38.00, BeThereInFive

9. A Pat-On-The-Back Book

Every grad should keep one of these on their nightstand for all those discouraging real adult moments.

'You Are Doing A Freaking Great Job' By Workman Publishing, $8.95, Urban Outfitters

10. A Massage

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After all the cramming for finals, any grad could use a little R&R. Give them the treat of ultimate relaxation with a great massage.

11. Monthly Subscription Box

Birchbox is a classic for the beauty maven, but new grads will also appreciate Bestowed, a monthly box of healthy food and snacks curated by a nutritionist, Heather Bauer.

Bestowed Gift Membership, $19.00 a month, Bestowed

Image: Rochelle Nicole/Unsplash; Giphy