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Top 6 Grad Gifts

Posted by Elizabeth Sopher on

I am in the midst of senior spring – watching - and trying not to ride - the roller coaster with my daughter.  She is the original QuickZip kid, the first inspiration for our first product, then perfected through tests on my “guinea pigs” - Maya and my son, Henry. How is it with a kid almost off to college?  We parents live between absolute need and deep rejection; long periods of absence punctuated by texts like:




    Some students are heading for the military, some to work, and some, including my daughter, to college.  The last crop of acceptances and financial aid awards for many students came out last month, and the decisions have been made (or most).  The process is challenging.  We went back and forth trying to balance future career potential vs. emotion,  big vs small, and everything vs. the cost.  But at the core,  I know she will be happy and successful – (and have a house big enough for a mom apartment when she gets older!) 

    One tidbit, courtesy of our friend Sarah Schupp at University Parent and the Clark University Poll of parents:  “70% of students talk or text with their parent daily” – This stat gives me an odd combination of dread and comfort!

    And now it is off to graduation parties – and gifts?  I have asked many trusted friends and high school students seeking insight.  Here are my Top 6.

    1. QuickZip Sheets -  Moms, picture the dorm, don't let your kid sleep on dirty sheets!  With QuickZip they'll sleep on crisp, clean sheets, often! 

    Other cool options:

    2. Books:

    • This is Water by David Foster Wallace.  a commencement address with an enduring message about the value of education and teaching us to be aware, to learn that we have the ability to choose what to think and how to perceive, and to recoil from a default reaction.  (Check out the great  film version by
    • On Writing, by Stephen King. Writing is an absolutely critical skill, and these are tips from the king!  The review in reader’s digest struck me because it mentioned “Elements of Style” by Strunk and White, a tiny volume with all the writing rules you need to know, which I have had on my shelf since my Freshman seminar many years ago (and despite the words of every professional organizer that college text books absolutely need to go!)
    • (and the favorite - Dr. Seuss - Oh, The Places You'll Go)

    3. Embroidered Towels – A nice fluffy towel is a gift that keeps on giving, every day, and won’t go missing. (Embroidered makeup bags, totes, etc were also high on the list.)

    4. A State Flag  - to hang on a dorm or apartment room wall as a little reminder of home.

    5. Portable Power – My teens (and I) cannot live without their phones, and we live or die for a charge!  Backup power is the answer.  There are many options starting at $10-version I just saw on the counter at Kinkos to the $80 best-seller on Amazon.  Learn about them here.

    6. Packing/Organizer Cubes – Cool little zippered bags in many shapes, sizes and colors, perfect to organize inside a suitcase, under the bed, or in the closet.  Here are some examples at Amazon.

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