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Article: What Gen-Z Really Wants for Graduation

What Gen-Z Really Wants for Graduation

What Gen-Z Really Wants for Graduation

Cayla Volandes does not come by her educated taste in jewelry by accident. The just-graduated native New Yorker is the niece of Stellene Volandes, the Editor-in-Chief of Town & Country, and a jewelry expert with an encyclopedic knowledge of designers – both independent and of the storied houses. 

After four years away from the bustling streets of New York, Cayla is ready to embark on a new journey. Armed with a degree in Economics and English, she is eagerly looking forward to her career in consulting. “I'm going into consulting post-grad,” she shares with MUSE over Zoom, her excitement palpable. “I'll be returning to New York right after graduation,” she affirms, her anticipation for the city's vibrant working world evident. 

Like the rest of the class of 2024, this marks Cayla’s first “big deal” graduation. “I didn't get to high school graduation as it was the pandemic,” she explains, “so the class of 2024 places a little bit more on college graduation. It's very emotional for me. It's definitely the closing of a chapter and the entry into a new one. I'll be going into the working world where everything is new. But I'm very excited to go on to this new chapter of life and see all the different possibilities and what New York in my 20s will be like.”

It’s nearly impossible to think about graduation without the subsequent graduation gift. And while Cayla is quick to remind us that classics like Van Cleef’s Alhambra bracelets are still on many of her friend’s wishlists, she offers a refreshing glimpse into her generation’s taste: “Based on my intuition, what Gen-Z really wants is something that you can wear every day, to work, that’s a bit more understated. Nothing flashy or too branded. It's really about a classic with a modern twist that has some meaning to it.”

So, what’s on Cayla's (and her friends’) graduation list wish lists?

Bea Bongiasca

“If you’re trying to stray off the beaten path completely, you’ll want something that will pop. I love Bea Bongiasca–her whimsical designs and bright colors. And I also just think her pieces are very unique. My favorites are her Flower Hoop Earrings. But I also love the Pop Chokers.” 

Ten Thousand Things

Ten Thousand Things has been around forever. I love their heart charms. I have ones made of stone, quartz, amethyst, and jade...Whatever color is your birthstone or just a color that you like to wear around is a great gift. I think my favorite piece that they make is the Evil Eye Charms.”

Christina Alexiou 


“If one is really looking for a little bit more of a splurge, staying true to my Greek roots and paying homage to my heritage, of course, I also love Christina AlexiouThe scarab and heart charms are favorites of mine.  I will scroll through Christina Alexiou's page and love every single thing, but her Signet Rings or a pair of earrings would also be amazing.”


Lito's Eye pieces are also gorgeous and good for people who are superstitious like me and want a little extra protection. Definitely need to ward off the bad juju going into a new chapter of my life”

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