Tag Archives: science

Science Backed Ways To Give The Best Gifts

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Science Backed Ways To Give The Best Gifts

Choosing a gift that the recipient will truly love and appreciate can be no easy feat. Even if you know someone very well, it’s so easy to get it wrong and give them a gift that, sure, they’ll pretend to love, but which you just know they’re disappointed in. The good news is, is that it doesn’t have to be that way – science has come to the rescue.

Yes, scientists have looked into the art of gift giving and they have come up with some solid rules for giving gifts that will be really appreciated by anyone on any occasion. Read on to find out more:

Know the Person Well:

Okay, so this probably isn’t going to help you if you’re buying for a mere acquaintance but a psychologist at San Fransisco State University by the name of Ryan Howell says that really knowing the person you’re gifting to is the key to getting it right. This makes sense, because if you know that your friend is a fan of the kind of quirky gifts you find at Davson Sales or you know that your aunt loves the dresses at Macy’s, then you’ll be giving a great gift. Even better, it enables you to go with a meaningful gift that is highly personalized to them and is unique – how could they not love that?

Make a Donation:

Although this often seems like a way of wimping out or something that people will pretend to like, but are secretly disappointed about, science says differently. In research conducted by Harvard Business School, it was found that giving to charity makes people happier than buying stuff and giving more makes people happier still, so by making a charity donation in the giftee’s name, you both win.

Handmade:

Buying something brand new from the store can be a good move if you know for sure that the giftee wants whatever it is you’re buying, but if you don’t it can be a minefield. Will they like it? Do they already have it? Should I give them the receipt just in case? Luckily, you can easily avoid all of that, because a study conducted by the Journal of Marketing in 2015 found that people like to gift homemade items because they are more unique, thoughtful, and they are often more appreciated. The same is true of family heirlooms which are more valued and, thus, more appreciated even if they are not actually more expensive.

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A craft that you enjoy making is always a good idea!

Give Them an Experience:

Giving people an experience that they will remember forever as gifts, like the ones at If Only, typically, according to science, makes them happier than giving them objects that they may well be bored of in a month or two. So, if you’re stuck, think about whether they’d like tickets to the big football game, a skydiving experience, a spa break, or something similarly exciting that fits their personality. They’ll undoubtedly like it more than chocolates, beer, or flowers.

Even if you weren’t great at science in school, let the experts help you make the best of your gifting with the ideas above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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Dear College Self,

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Dear College Self,

Hey everyone and happy Thursday! As a fairly recent college grad (Winter of 2016, baby!), I find myself missing my Alma Mater constantly. Cuyahoga Community College, AKA Tri-C, is where I obtained my Associate of Arts and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful teachers that I encountered who helped me achieve graduating Magna Cum Laude (woo!). And the students weren’t so bad, either! I am always playing around with the idea of going back to school because I loved it so much but there are definitely some things that I would do differently this time around if I go back for my Associate of Science in the future – like the following:

Dear College Self,

First, let me repeat for the millionth time that there is no shame in waiting to go to school like I did. Thanks to my two year hiatus after high school, I was able to build up my bank account while climbing the corporate ladder at my job. I also realized after a four year stint at the same place that working in the mall for the rest of my life definitely isn’t for me (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)!

After feeling unbearably stuck in life and at work, I decided to take a huge leap of faith and started classes at Tri-C as well as creating lifewithlilred. And you know what? College wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! And by “wasn’t as bad”, I mean it really wasn’t bad at all. Being in a classroom, whether it be in real life or online, was definitely a change of pace but it was a welcomed one. Using my brain to solve adult problems felt so good after years of monotony and a zest for learning, which was nonexistent in high school, seemed to appear over night. Like I said, it was an exciting change of pace!

Despite an overwhelmingly amazing college experience, there are always things that you wish you would have done differently. Starting college a little later in the game made me hesitant to try new things on campus. Different clubs, events, and programs were constantly going on throughout the week and I never made one cameo appearance at any of them. The sad thing is, is that Tri-C is a place for people of literally all ages (from 16 to 90!), and my discomfort in my situation never allowed me to fully embrace what a unique community that Tri-C is. This is definitely something that needs to change when I eventually go back for my Associate of Science and I am committed to becoming more involved during my next go around.

And, of course, this is the generic “what I wish I did differently response” but I really do wish that my college self would have studied just a little bit harder. Not really knowing about graduating with honors until the literal day of graduation was a mistake on my part. How does someone not know about the world of Cum Laude if they’re in college? Lol, I’m not sure. Probably because even when I started classes at Tri-C, I wasn’t focused on the end goal and that was another major mistake. Had I known that I was devastatingly close to graduating Summa Cum Laude, I would have pushed and applied myself way harder to achieve that honor. But hey, there’s always next time – right?!

Although there are things that I wish I could redo about my college experience, I still graduated with flying colors and finally took an interest in becoming a more educated and well rounded individual. That makes me incredibly proud of my college self and I’m looking forward to applying an even more studious and adventurous spirit to college life if I go back to school again.

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What advice would you give to your college self? What would your advice be to college students right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Should You Major In Liberal Arts Or STEM?

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Should You Major In Liberal Arts Or STEM?

There was a time, perhaps a couple of decades ago, where the liberal arts – a.k.a. the humanities, dealing with the study of literature, history, philosophy, art, and the like – and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) worked together in harmony. These days, there seems to be a major divide between the two when it comes to college. At least, that’s what a lot of commentators and even politicians believe.

Back in 2014, Barack Obama called into question the usefulness of a liberal arts degree. He caught quite a bit of heat for suggesting that a degree in art history may not provide you with the job opportunities that an education in trade and manufacturing will. Oddly enough, this actually put him on common ground with the Republicans, who have long questioned the usefulness of degrees such as literature and anthropology!

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He didn’t always please the liberals!

But how right are the critics of an education in liberal arts? Before people even get an opportunity to ask “How do you get a bachelor’s degree?”, they seem to be hounded by such a question. If you feel a bit torn and confused about the whole thing, here are a few points that you should keep in mind:

Manufacturing and Trade Aren’t Dead: So many people out there seem to think that we’ve moved past the need to have so many students doing STEM subjects because there isn’t much career potential in manufacturing and trade. Here’s the thing: Obama wasn’t actually so much criticizing liberal arts as he was criticizing this idea. The fact is, that these are still essential fields in our economies, and fulfilling and lucrative careers are still common in those fields. Don’t dismiss manufacturing and trade as dead fields because they are very much alive and kicking if you know where to look.

Liberal Arts Education Isn’t Just “Training for Starbucks”: An education in the humanities does not doom you to a dead-end job, the way that a lot of people tend to dismiss it. Having said that, there are certainly courses out there that are so steeped in postmodernist denials of reality or objective truth and so much closer to ideological indoctrination rather than education that job prospects after graduation are genuinely lackluster.

But, a degree in philosophy has been shown to get people into well-salaried positions. In fact, the average philosophy major earns more than the average accounting major. As for an English degree, so often mocked by humanities haters, it’s a massive boost for many careers due to the degree showing your ability to read and analyze deeply. Talent in theory and criticism is more useful in business and technology fields than you may think!

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Starbucks & studies!

And Remember: while Bill Gates has dismissed liberal arts degrees, Steve Jobs has pointed out that his company would never work it if hadn’t been a perfect marriage of STEM and liberal arts.

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Take that, Bill Gates!

Remember Part 2: the value of a degree is both overestimated and underrated – it’s the former in a more general sense, but the latter when you take into account oft-disparaged subjects such as those you’ll find in the humanities. At the end of the day, higher education isn’t pointless, nor is it a waste of time – as long as you pursue your education with purpose, you’ll get something out of it.

Featured Image By: Wikimedia