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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

Graduation season is approaching! Transformation surrounds everyone on campus. With so much change during this time of the year, having good friends means a lot to a blossoming graduate. Historical landmarks on campus turn into the backdrops of graduation photo shoots. Friends move in different directions. While certain friends graduate, others stay behind to complete their degrees. 

This period of change and evolution illuminates the differences between individuals. As students step into their respective futures, the right graduation present can mean the world, instilling confidence in a friend. The right gift represents a person! It can really show how much someone means to you. As commencement ceremonies and new beginnings grow closer, allow this short guide to be an inspiration to show your friend, the new graduate, that you know them. 

If any of these descriptions sound like something your friends would say, the how’d you know response awaits you. 

Solo Traveler 

You say you’re taking a gap year before settling down and starting adult life. They hate to see you go, but realistically, you’ve been dreaming of new adventures forever, and they probably won’t see you after. I mean, it’s not because you don’t miss them. They have to understand that this Julia Roberts style of eating, praying, and loving just doesn’t work anymore. 

They can’t blame you. You started a travel TikTok account, so visiting wouldn’t be feasible for your schedule. Despite your busy life exploring new realms, you’re constantly reminded of just how much you’re missed at home. The graduation gift your best friend gave you helps keep track of your most important assets (most important, second to them of course). Your new Apple AirTag and Tile Tracker puts your mind at ease. They ensure your comfort, so even between Machu Picchu or your afternoon Aperol spritz, you have time to pick up the phone when your friend calls. It truly is the best gift for a solo-traveler. 

Corporate Girl 

After four long years, the only glass you’ve ever managed to break came in a pack of six. Now, you’re graduating, ready to break the glass ceiling. Your ability to manage an active social life while maintaining a high GPA prepares you for a fast-paced environment.

You’re running around on Red Bull and smiles, so while everyone thinks you’re the personality hire, you’ll be at the top in no time. You landed a cushy job in a nice corporate office. Your parents are proud, but you’re more excited to decorate your cubicle. All the new shades of gray and white are anything but colorful. 

Your new office is nothing but go, go, go. While you’re in the sky, leaving that glass ceiling behind, the funky plant your friend gave you keeps you grounded. With so much potential and much to accomplish, you ground your electric personality with some less-than-boring office decor. A venus fly trap will represent your bite; let the green brighten up your space and remind you of all the green soon-to-be deposited in your account. This feisty reminder of your tenacity serves as a welcomed oddity in your office space. While you may have not chosen it for yourself, the gift your friend gave you is the best reminder of the qualities in yourself which will allow you to reach your potential. 

The “Legally Blonde” 

Bend and snap! Nothing gets you down. You consider this bachelor’s degree as inconvenient as dropping a pen on the ground. You looked cute, even during finals season. Now, you’re all done, wondering what the big deal about a “Berkeley Brain” was anyway. I mean, like it’s hard?

You’re not concerned about the little things like reading assignments or going to jail. You truly have no fear. Well, aside from lifted acrylics, cracked gel, and overgrown cuticles, of course. While you won’t mind the books, you might mind the paper cuts and broken nails, but the perfect gift won’t stop you from keeping your face on the page. 

You keep your friends close, but books closer. That’s why it was such a good thing when your friend gifted you a year’s supply of manicures as a job well done for finishing up your degree. While the books may take up all your time, your fresh nails allow you to remain focused. Despite your education seeming to take precedence over friends, when that manicure starts to get old, you can always meet them at the nail salon. 

Home Body Belle 

Chances are, after all the money you’re about to save, you’ll have some trouble spending. Of course, whether being home is your first choice (or not), it’s the smart one. You’re smart, love your family, and know what you’re doing despite what others may think. What more can one ask for? You know a safety net when you see one. With such admirable characteristics, no wonder why you have such caring friends. 

You’re calculated. When they turn around, you’re one step ahead. They fall into the trap of underestimating you. You’re the tortoise, making them into a hare. 

It’s lonely being ahead of the curb; at least, it can be without caring friends who give you the confidence to take that next leap into independence. All in the shape of a shiny new computer. Whether you’re at home day trading, interviewing for jobs, or just enjoying the peace of not paying for rent, your new computer will distract from the tortoise-patterned shell shock of your university days. Your friend will miss hearing you complain about how much you hate your classes, but now, with the new computer they gave you, there won’t be any complaining about getting stuck with the opportunities at home. With the world at your fingertips, your friend’s graduation gift to you serves as a reminder of how much they know your internal and external hard drive. 

Having a good friend can feel like you’re connected — like they know exactly what you’re thinking. When it comes to grad gifts, what better way to say “I’m proud of you,” than an impromptu mind read. The right gift feels like you knew exactly what they were about to ask. With so much transition in the lives of graduates, reminding our friends that we know them well can mean ensuring that you continue to be part of it. This graduation season, give the gift that’ll remind your friend of your friendship despite their exciting, newfound experiences.

Antonella Milans

UC Berkeley '25