Choosing A Truly Personal Graduation Gift

Choosing A Truly Personal Graduation Gift

Choose what to present to each graduate without feeling formulaic

Graduation is perhaps one of the most challenging events for choosing gifts. It's difficult to walk that line between personal and practical; while a check or gift card is generous, it's not the most tailor-made gift. And on the other hand, you don't want to give something frivolous when the graduate is trying to get started in life. Compounding the challenge is that we often know multiple graduates each spring, and our well of creativity can easily run dry.

The good news is that it is possible to create a technique for meaningful gifts that are personal and practical. You can have a sort of template for gift-giving that helps you choose what to present to each graduate without feeling formulaic.

The goal should be to find gifts that are applicable to the graduate's particular personality but still have an element of financial value that can contribute in some way to a good financial start. In this way, you're striking a nice balance between personal and intrinsic value. A great place to start is to consider the graduate's career path, so use this guide as a way to start thinking about ways to select gifts.

Political Science & History

Most people who venture into this field have a particular affection for the work or personalities of a few select figures. It may be the steady, unifying hand of Lincoln or the inspirational power of Kennedy. Whatever the case, a gift with relevance to those personalities can be a perfect fit.

A great first stop on your graduate shopping trip is to search for historical autographs for sale. These gifts are a perfect example of what we're talking about. You can give the graduate a gift that makes particular sense for him or her, yet it retains some financial value that can let it serve as an investment as well.

Medicine & Science

These fields are well-suited for gifts involving the tools of the trade. While few graduates of nursing or medical school will accept their diplomas without already having a stethoscope, other instruments may still be needed. Consider consulting other friends already established in the profession for ideas. Ask them what they wish they had received for their graduation.

Should instruments prove too challenging, it's always possible to provide a subscription to one of the prominent medical journals. It's a gift that not only carries real monetary value but can also foster professional growth and competence.

Business & Economics

Speaking of journals, what better gift for the budding financial guru than a subscription to any of countless financial publications? Any of these can provide insight into investments and other opportunities, opening the door for greater success. And it can be a big boost to provide a subscription when the graduate is fresh out of school and doesn't feel he or she can afford it.

For the more entrepreneurial grad, think again about historic documents from legendary figures. Imagine the motivation and inspiration a graduate could draw from having a letter from P.T. Barnum hanging on the wall.

Choosing a gift is all about finding something that makes sense for the recipient. For a graduate, it also means providing some type of financial boost to help start them on the right foot. When you tailor the gift ideas to the graduate's background and future plans, you'll find a gift that really suits the occasion.

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Why I Can't Support Jeffree Star

I used to idolize him, but his racism and misogyny have crossed the line.

Like any other person obsessed with makeup, I follow many different makeup artists on YouTube and Instagram. I love watching their tutorials and reviews, all which leave me inspired to try new looks and teach me more about products that will up my makeup game. One of these beauty gurus that I used to follow is Jeffree Star, a singer/songwriter, model, and makeup artist who is probably best known for his popular makeup line, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, which features liquid lipsticks, lip scrubs, highlighters, and a new eyeshadow palette.

However, as of late, his cosmetic line isn’t the only thing making him a hot topic on social media; his extensive history of making racist comments has now become the subject of many YouTube videos by other vloggers and beauty gurus. One of the most disturbing incidents is a video he made ten years ago on MySpace. The video is supposed to be a satirical skit between him and a drag queen, who is in blackface. One of the disgusting comments made in the video is that he wants to throw battery acid on an African American woman to lighten her skin so it will match her foundation. Star also calls someone a “black b*tch” while his friend continues to pretend to be a stereotypical black woman. Even if the video was made ten years ago, he was still an adult at the time and should have known better than to make something so vile and racist. If he had been 15 years-old, that’s one thing. But he was at least 19 years-old at the time; there are no excuses.

TW: racism, racial slurs

Star has become infamous also for being a drama queen on social media, whether to be rude to fans complaining about his products or starting Twitter wars with other makeup artists. While most people know about his beef with Kylie Jenner over some defects with her liquid lipsticks, Star’s issues go far beyond just her. One feud that highlights his misogynistic and racist behavior is with MakeupShayla, another makeup artist. At an event they both attended, in his Snapchat story Star ranted that Shayla allegedly told another YouTouber that her face was disproportionate and to get lip fillers. Whether or not this was actually said in a rude manner, like he claims, is unknown. He then proceeded to rage about her being a c*nt and a h*e. Even though that comment had sent him in such a rage, Shayla said in her Snapchat story that he was all smiles when they ran into each other at the event.

On Twitter, the situation became even more intense. He called her out first for making the lip filler comment; if she had indeed said something rude like that, then confronting her about it is fine. However, he escalated things to a terrifying level. He threatened to beat her up several times, and when she criticized his fans for supporting someone who threatens violence against a woman, Star responded that she looks like man. I find it very ironic that he would claim that she was a bully, yet threaten her and hurl terrible insults at her. Shayla should not have made the rude comment about that woman needing lip fillers; however, she does not deserve to be threatened or insulted in this manner, especially since Star was too much of a coward to say anything to her face.

Moreover, despite his claims to be so against bullying, and to be such a supporter of female empowerment, he is friends with a bully. In one of his Snapchat stories, MannyMUA and the owner of Gerard Cosmetics made fun of a YouTuber who was reviewing the company’s products. In the last part of the Snapchats, the owner said that the reviewer was an ugly person. Manny later tried to apologize and say that the video cut off and that the owner was saying she had an ugly personality, but that’s not exactly better. Despite this incident, Jeffree and Manny are still the best of friends, and Manny was never beat up by Star for being rude. Moreover, it seems as though Star has a way of corrupting beauty gurus who become a part of his inner circle. When Manny was primarily friends with Patrick Starr, another makeup artist, he was kinder and he wasn’t rude. But once Star came into the picture, Manny became his carbon-copy: another gay boy acting like a stereotypical black woman and covering up his rudeness by calling it “sass” and “shade.” Plus, it is shocking to me that Manny, a person of color, would still adore Star despite his racist history. I feel guilty now for talking about him in my last piece about makeup double standards.

Stephanie Nicole, a makeup artist on YouTube, made a video reviewing a few of Star’s products. Then, once she’s finished the review, she then goes on to discuss Star’s racist and misogynistic tendencies, showing videos of his Snapchat rant against MakeupShayla, his disturbing skit, and other instances where he was rude to fans and problematic in general. She concludes that she refuses to support his company anymore. I agree with her completely. Just because he is a part of a minority group by being queer does not give him the right to be racist or misogynistic. You can watch the entire video down below:

I was extremely conflicted when I heard about all of this. In fact, I was almost heartbroken; I have admired Star for a long time because of how he breaks gender roles and goes against the gender binary. I also coveted his products, and was very ready to purchase his Skin Frost highlighters and some liquid lipsticks up until I found out that he’s a racist. I have some of his music on my iTunes because some of his tracks are fun for workouts, but now I feel guilty even though I just did not know. However, I do know that I will not be supporting Jeffree Star anymore, no matter how tempting his products are.

If you still want to buy his cosmetics, go ahead, I can’t stop you. I have no right to tell you how to spend your money. I don’t blame you; he produces some great makeup after all, even though he is a trashy person. However, if you bought his products before finding out about his problematic behavior, and now regret your purchases, I advise that next time you research a company before giving them your money. It’s difficult to enjoy a product when you know it’s produced by an unpleasant person. This experience has taught me a valuable lesson about being an informed consumer and not simply buying something because it has pretty packaging.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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The Shutdown Of Toys 'R' Us Is Undoubtedly Going To Affect Children

Now that technology is becoming the trend, children will no longer want stuffed dolls or toys. They will just want iPads.


As our lives grow busier every day with responsibilities, we rely on technology to save time. But because we rely so much on technology, many retail stores have been losing business due to the popular use of online shopping. In fact, many of the retail stores are beginning to shut down its operations in the United States and there will be hardly any chance we will see these stores ever again.

It saddens me to hear that one of the retail stores closing down is Toys "R" Us, a store well-known for selling toys, dolls, and games for children. During the early 2000s, Toys "R" Us was every child's dream. It was store not only filled with toys, but it was a store filled with fun and adventure, where children easily roam around and experience a full range of emotions when going down aisles and spot the first toy they like.

The fondest memory I still have of Toy R Us is when my twin sister and I bought our very first toy from that store. It was an electronic Pikachu doll that speaks when you touch its hand and its cheeks light up bright red when you play with it. But then when our elder sister rolled it down the stairs, it never spoke nor move ever again. Imagine how angry we were.

With Toys "R" Us closing down, I fear what will become of children in the future. As I look around, I don't see a single kid holding a stuffed doll in their hands. Instead, I find them looking straight at the screen of an iPad. The bond between a child and an iPad certainly does not live up to the bond between a child and a stuffed doll. The intimacy shared between a child and a stuffed doll is far more magical.

A stuffed doll allows a child to get in touch with their imagination and creative thinking while an iPad leaves a child distracted by what is on the screen. Technology such as an iPad only robs the child of the magical experience of childhood, not letting them see beyond their own eyes of the wonders of their inner child.

Now that technology is becoming the trend, children will no longer want stuffed dolls or toys, they will just want iPads. It is sad to say that toys will eventually disappear from our lives for they will no longer serve a purpose for children and become of no value for children at all.

The children of the future perhaps will never have a chance to experience the joy of make-believe. Since the world is changing every day, we can only assume that the world is heading towards a future where technology dominates and creativity stifles. I don't know whether this is something I should be happy or be sad about. After all, we become so reliant on technology, is creativity even needed? With this in mind, I'm not sure whether the world is changing for the best or for the worst.

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