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Even in a good year, grads can feel immense pressure to follow a certain life path. And this...was not necessarily a good year. Know a college or high school graduate who needs a minute to figure things out? No biggie. Here are a few gifts that will help them learn, soul-search, and bide the time until life makes a little more sense.
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell, Penguin Random House
Sometimes the answer to "What should I do next?" is "nothing." Far from a boring self-help book, author Jenny Odell's critique of capitalism's obsession with productivity brings clarity and actionable solutions to feelings common among tetherless grads.
Should I Get Bangs Dad Cap, Intentionally Blank
If you have a laugh-with-each-other relationship with the graduate (a best friend, a sister, that sort of thing) help them make light of their uncertain situation with a hat that commemorates our favorite approach to adversity: getting bangs.
First-Time 60 Minute Float, Float Seattle Local
What if the best experience gift is the gift of experiencing nothing at all? Float tanks filled with extra-salty water give participants all the buoyancy they need to be deprived of (most) senses—even those who find it supremely difficult to turn their brains off will at least be bestowed with the rare sensation of, uh, not being on their phones.
Good Things Take Time Notebook, Papier
Uncertainty can be difficult. It can also be illuminating. Journals provide an opportunity for grads to explore tough feelings or jot down moments of inspiration; this one in particular, customizable with their name and the mantra "good things take time," makes for a special gift even if the whole writing-through-it thing doesn't pan out.
Less a game than a tool for introspection, this set of cards lists a bunch of goals and desires someone might have (after graduation or otherwise): living abroad, reconnecting with family members, finding fulfilling work. Then it provides instructions for reflecting on priorities and making a game plan.
Hocus Pocus Ground Coffee, Wunderground Local
We're not usually in the business of recommending shrooms as a means of finding yourself. But when they come in the form of a locally blended, totally non-psychoactive mushroom coffee meant to lower anxiety (an uncertain grad must) and boost brain power and immunity (YMMV), we make an exception.
Love You So Much Candle, Cancelled Plans Local
Never underestimate the power of a little well-timed reassurance (that also doubles as a perfect housewarming gift, if that's in the stars).
Initial Necklace, Coastal Local
Why focus on what's next when what's already here is so lovely? An initial necklace feels special and custom without breaking the bank (or taking weeks to make and ship) and celebrates the graduate for who they are, not just what they've achieved.