Cash may be still be king when it comes to what high school grads want to see when they open their graduation cards. But if you’re interested in a spark of creativity or trying to personalize your gifts, here are some fun suggestions.
Students are constantly connected electronically, so most anything that will make that connection easier and more convenient will be appreciated.
• Mophie Juice Pack Reserve: This is an iPhone and iPod charger that students can carry on their key chains. It can be used when they find themselves with a low battery and a must-have app download or photo that can’t wait. $34.95, www.mophie.com
• Bedphones: One of the toughest adjustments for most freshmen is adapting to a roommate’s sleeping/working/partying schedule. Bedphones are earphones that are designed for sleeping with foam-covered speakers that lie flat against your ears. There’s even a free app with the product that turns the music off when you fall asleep. $19.95, www.bedphones.com
• Card iPhone Case: What else does a student need besides their phone, their student ID and a credit or debit card? Not much. This handy case has room for three cards. $39.95, www.speckproducts.com
• Bullhorn Speaker: This silicone megaphone triples the sound of an iPhone with no batteries necessary. $7.99, www.cwonder.com
• Electro Man: This “stick-figure” is a giant adapter; his arms and legs have three prong sockets. $24, www.dormify.com
Green and comfy
• Staying green: This very cool Boskke self-watering planter has a Slo-Flo system that requires watering just once a month with no guesswork required. $19.95, www.dormify.com
• Travel HoodiePillow: Featured on popular ABC reality show “Shark Tank,” this hooded pillowcase is a soft sweatshirt material that covers a pillow insert which deflates. $19.95, www.dormify.com
Create your own “off to college” survival kits. These are a great idea if you are industrious, frugal and have multiple gifts to purchase. Some items you might include:
• Keeping them clean: Put together a laundry basket with the supplies they’ll need to do laundry; soap, a roll of quarters, stain remover, fabric softener, etc.
• Satisfying their snack urges: Design a basket filled with their favorite candies, snacks and gift cards to their favorite coffee shops and restaurants.
• Keeping them healthy: Purchase a hot pot for cooking their favorite cereal, soups, snacks, hot cocoa, etc. Personalize it even more by adding a hand-compiled recipe book of simple things they can make with limited kitchen resources.
• Fixing things: Get them a basic tool kit that includes a hammer and screwdriver, or find a kit with a little of everything.
More fun kit ideas: Dormify.com offers a variety of creative kits that you can send students throughout the year. “Mom Misses You” – Call Your Mother Kit; “Cram, Bam, Thank You Ma’am” – Exam Study Kit; “Feel Better Soon” – Get Well Kit; “Hugs in a Box” – Cheer Up Kit.
There’s even a “Boyfriends Suck” kit; it’s probably filled with chocolate!
Lee Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte, N.C. Visit her website at www.CollegeAdmissionsStrategies.com.