It's May, and we all know what that means -- freedom. If you're a senior in high school or college this year, it also means a ton of gifts. If you're anyone else, it means getting presents for the graduating seniors in your life (welcome to the real world, suckers!).
And if you are graduating this month, don't forget to get a small gift for your fellow senior friends. I mean, think about it. You've spent countless hours partying together, in class together, gossiping about love together, and now you're going your separate ways.
You're going to be apart. Forever. (Maybe.)
Parents and their friends often just give money. This is much-appreciated but a tad boring. As for other standard gifts, well, you're not going to need monogrammed towels or stationary ever -- not at college or at your new job. You're also not going to need glittery picture frames (you already have Instagram).
Stumped about what your friends actually do need?
Go to Facebook, look up their birthdays and use this super scientific guide.
Aries March 21 - April 19
Oh, you would have to be first, wouldn't you, Aries? Your Aries is probably thrilled to break out of the hellhole (for her) that is institutionalized learning and ready to hit the ground running into a life full of adventures. She's got a temper like a match thrown onto gasoline (aka, explosive), wit as sharp as a knife, and a brain as smart as a whip. But no more book learnin' for her. I know famous Aries Emma Watson seems tame, but at her heart, she's a daredevil. Help your favorite Aries embrace the real world with gifts that say, "I love you. Don't die jumping out of a plane."
Gift ideas: Travel insurance.
Taurus April 20 - May 20
The Taurus in your life is down-to-earth, grounded, good-looking, no-nonsense. Think of how serious Taurus Adele's ballads are. The Taurus will also fall into one of two categories: the determined, ambitious type, who has law school lined up for the fall or a summer of high-powered internships awaiting; or the slow-and-steady type, who is not yet convinced that she has found the right job, and is laboriously making a pro-and-con list. In any case, your Taurus has a taste for luxury and a feel for the sensuous, so take care of the necessities so that she can spend her hard-earned first paycheck on something totally luxurious and unnecessary. She'd never let herself otherwise.
Gift ideas: A 30-year planner.
Gemini May 21 - June 20
Think of Geminis like the wind: pushing this way and that way, blowing hot and cold, sometimes disappearing for days on end. But what's a day without wind? Totally still and boring. Geminis really do make the world go 'round. One word to summarize them? Mercurial. Another word? Verbal. Gossipy. Social. (Think of the Olsen twins -- they're often in the tabloids. Coincidence? I think not). Your Gemini has probably already accepted and quit a job within the first week after graduation, so stay clear of career-related materials - you never know when they're going to up and decide to join the Peace Corps.
Gift ideas: One of those police receptor things so that she can always be the first one in on the gossip.
Cancer June 21 - July 22
Your Cancer just wants to be loved! She's artistic, sweet, and probably having a really hard time breaking away from her college friends. One of two things may have happened: she's dying to find a community out there in the cold real world; or she's moved back into her parents' basement. The best gifts for Cancer will make her feel valued, cozy, and cared for (good to know if you're ever shopping for Cancer Selena Gomez). Items for her house are especially good ideas, because they will make her actually want to leave home and maybe rent that duplex down the street from Mom.
Gift ideas: Kitten.
Leo July 23 - August 22
Leo doesn't just want to be loved, she wants to be appreciated. And what's not to appreciate? It's hard to find anything with the warm personality, the perfect hostess, the trendsetting stylish-yet-approachable cool girl quality that marks Leos. Is anyone as charming as Leos Jennifer Lawrence and Mila Kunis? Nope. Even if you're unsure about what to get her, any present is better than no present, for Leo -- at least she'll know you're thinking about her. But if you want to make her happy forever, personalize the gift to the T, letting her know that you thought for hours to get it exactly right. Now, let us give you the shortcuts to what she might actually want.
Gift ideas: A full-length mirror; a Pinterest board dedicated to her
Virgo Aug 23 - Sept 22
Look, precise, perfect, domestic Virgo doesn't want to make any trouble, okay? Virgo just wants to let you know that she is very, very anxious about moving out into the wider world after graduation. Sure, she's ambitious (see the ultimate fabulous Virgo, Beyonce). And sure, nobody's as hard (or as good) as worker as she is. Nobody keeps a better, prettier, or cleaner house, nobody scores as high on the GMAT -- but Virgo is feeling just a little skittish right now. Okay?
Gift ideas: Briefcase or fun cleaning products.
Libra September 23 - October 22
When you look behind Libra's pretty eyes (for some reasons Libras always have pretty eyes -- see Avril Lavigne), you might not be able to read her expression, for she's such a good socializer that she can wear that mask well. I'll give you a hint: what she's really thinking is why can't we all just get along, you guys? Wouldn't that be nice, to live in the utopian, balanced, beauty-filled Libra world? Libra thinks so too. Justice is important to Libra, as is fairness -- live/work balance is absolutely essential. A taste for the romantic is not at all unusual. Conflict of any sort is out of the question. Which can make Libra... what's the word? We wouldn't want to say "indecisive," would we? No, it's not quite that... how can I put this more delicately?
Gift ideas: Bossy self-help books.
Scorpio October 23 - November 21
The average Scorpio... doesn't exist. Scorpio can be dreamy or vicious, a playboy or a serial monogamist, a poet or a banker. One thing all Scorpios like, however, is a touch of mystery. Scorpio singer Lorde oozes this trait. They will seek out the truth and hate being lied to, although they may be guilty of withholding information themselves (how old ARE you, Lorde?). But that's okay. Scorpio will explain all about it, just after she gets back. From nowhere. She's just running a few errands, all right? No, nowhere. You don't need to come.
Gift ideas: A secret admirer who can remain one step ahead of her, mystery-wise.
Sagittarius Nov 22 - December 21
For freedom-loving, eternal jokester Sagittarius, graduation is a mixed blessing. No more playtime with college friends! On the other hand, no more college! Sagittarius loves debating and playing with philosophical ideas (see the deeper meanings in all of Sagittarius Taylor Swift's songs) , but can definitely balk at too much restriction of their ideas (such as may be found, oh, on a midterm or in essay instructions, for example). Help Sagittarius celebrate her freedom with your graduation gift. Just -- no hookers, please.
Gift ideas: A GPS tracker. If they lose it (Sagittarius will lose it), consider getting them microchipped, like your puppy.
Capricorn December 22 - Jan 19
Look, don't worry about Capricorn. Capricorn's reliable, debonair, on top of things -- and most of all, clever as the day is long. Look at ultimate super Capricorn: Michelle Obama. Organized, confident, smart and forward thinking. They'll probably start three companies in their lifetime. They have ideas for ten more. Capricorns are seriously down to earth about money. In that she would like to make it, please. A lot of it. And she's willing to put in the time.
Gift ideas: A retirement fund.
Aquarius Jan 20 - February 18
Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln and Harry Styles are all Aquarians, so you know what that means: good hair. Not like they really care. Altruistic to the extreme, Aquarius can get so caught up in the bigger picture that she forgets to look at the details. Don't be offended if she's not effusive about your gift -- it doesn't mean that she doesn't like it, just that she's off in her mind somewhere, planning how to save the world.
Gift ideas: A vacuum cleaner; a filing cabinet. She's not going to really notice anyway.
Pisces February 19- March 20
Everyone likes a Pisces (Exhibit A: Rihanna is a Pisces). Why? Because they're artistic, dreamy, and just the slightest bit mischievous. The last sign of the zodiac, Pisces combines a little bit of all of the other signs into one glowing, magnificent, if slightly shy individual. Pisces needs her alone time, so sometimes she might disappear with the fairies when she was supposed to pick you up from the airport. Don't take offense -- this is just how Pisces is. They're easily forgiven because they're always a delight to be around (when they actually show up).
Gift ideas: A pet rock -- that's all she can be relied upon to take care of. She has to earn it before she can work her way up to Cancer's kitten.
Rachel Kapelke-Dale really recommends the book Graduates in Wonderland, the perfect graduation gift about travel and adventure between two friends in Beijing and New York (and later Paris and Melbourne). It's perfect for all-star signs, but especially yours. You can get it here.