As our e-tome is evolving, we are beginning to see that the immersion blender and even paring knife are optional. (You should have a paring knife, however.) The rice cooker is absolutely essential.
I, the mom of the team, have a well-stocked kitchen, replete with a few pieces of super-expensive All-clad cookware. But I am a convert to rice cooker cookery. So easy! No mess! Almost no clean-up!
We will be using the cheap cook-warm rice cooker, rather than the expensive fuzzy logic models. Once again, I will pimp for the model we have. Whatever you get, make sure it has a little hole on top to vent the steam and a nonstick finish inside the pot.
Here is the cheapie we have and love.
If someone owes you a graduation gift, ask for one of these. It is far more useful than Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places you'll Go!" One of my students received 17 copies of that book for graduation. The rice cooker is more useful. Make your parents get one too. They'll love saving time in the kitchen--perhaps more than you will.