Over the last year, I have noticed a false belief that many college students have. You see, many students think they are not capable of helping others in college because they are lacking financially. However, the truth is that whether you are broke or not, you possess the ability to make someone’s day. No, you may not be able to give large sums of money to someone in need, but at the end of the day, money is not what brings joy to people who are hurting. Rather, a perfect stranger, who went out of their way to make their day, just might bring a genuine smile to their face. Moreover, your financial status cannot stop you from performing random acts of kindness. Besides, as Aesop once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

As the beginning of a new school year is quickly approaching, it can be a stressful and scary time for incoming freshmen and new students at WSU. It is my challenge to you to consider doing some of the random acts I have listed below as you move back to Winona and begin classes. Or, you can even come up with your own ideas to brighten someone’s day! There are endless ideas when it comes to random acts of kindness. My goal in presenting this challenge to you is to ultimately create a more positive and welcoming atmosphere for each person who walks onto the Winona State campus. WSU should feel like home to all of the students and staff who walk its sidewalks each day. By simply performing random acts of kindness around our campus, I believe we can take a huge step forward in becoming a campus that is a shining example of a united and positive community.

Are you up for the challenge? If so, try doing a few of the 10 random acts of kindness I have listed below to get you started, and remember to have fun while doing them.

Acts of Kindness at NO COST

  1. Leave encouraging sticky notes on the mirrors in the bathrooms of your dorm
  2. Pick wildflowers and give them to a stranger (Only pick in appropriate areas of course – NO trespassing, people!)
  3. Say thank you to a faculty member for their hard work on campus
  4. Simply give a compliment to someone
  5. Hold the door open for someone trailing behind you

Acts of Kindness For Less Than $5

  1. Tape change to a pop machine for the next person who comes along
  2. Put change in the washing machines at the laundry mat
  3. Tape $5.00 to the gas pump for the next person
  4. Take cold water or Gatorade to city, county, or campus facility workers on a hot day
  5. Pay for the food of the person behind you in line at a drive thru restaurant