Sometimes it can seem like the world is moving in fast motion, especially when final exams roll around each semester. Because we are often in such a hurry during finals season, we tend to miss all the great gestures happening around us—and even to us.
To celebrate the efforts others make for our behalf, I was inspired to ask a few volunteer bloggers and other staff members in the Marketing, Communications & Creative Services Department here at Winona State about an act of kindness they personally experienced this past year that positively impacted their day.
During the winter, my friend Madi and I planned an outdoor photography session on campus. We met in the WELL, and she surprised me with a cup of hot tea (my favorite!) from Caribou Coffee in Somsen Hall. It put a smile on my face and is a fond memory in my mind of her everyday mantra “you’re valued” being shown rather than said aloud.
I was in a hurry to get to class one day and stopped to pick up some lunch from Zane’s. There was a very long line, but a girl in front of me noticed that I looked like I was rushed. She let me go ahead of her—it made my day!
Dr. Grier in the Mass Communications Department has always been super helpful when it comes to my photography business. Along with giving me studio lighting tips, he once reviewed my 70-page bridal guide and critiqued the whole thing on his own time. The fact that he was so eager to help better my magazine made me feel like I was more than just a student.
Whenever I go to the Jack Kane Dining Center and see that Sandy is working at the entrance, I know it’s going to be a good day. Not only does she always swipe in students with a smile on her face, but also she uses my first name when she greets me. Sandy exudes kindness and makes eating at the cafeteria an even more pleasant experience!
When I was really sick for a week, my fellow Sheehan Resident Assistant and friend Lauren brought me a mega-pack of saltine crackers and an assortment of liquids right to my door. It not only helped me get back on my feet, but also it helped ease my worries and made me feel less alone. I had never been sick on my own for more than a couple days before, and Lauren’s kindness meant so much to me!
Working as a Desk Assistant in the Quad, I see hundreds of people walk by the desk every day. Although I know that it is my job to greet everyone who comes through the door, I oftentimes feel unacknowledged by a majority of the residents. However, I instantly get excited when a select handful of residents whom I have come to know take the extra couple of seconds to smile, wave and say hello—it means a lot to me and always boosts my mood!
Back in September, I’d just finished a long night of studying at the Darrell Krueger Library when it started to rain outside (correction: downpour). I hadn’t brought either a hooded jacket or an umbrella. While I was waiting in the lobby for the perfect time to make my dash, a female student—whom I’d never met before—offered to walk me home under her umbrella. I will never forget that night and her incredible gesture as a complete stranger.
As you can see, sometimes the simplest of gestures can make the biggest positive impact on someone’s day. Take advantage of Random Acts of Kindness Week on campus and make a difference in another person’s life, regardless if you know them!
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Hailey is an English: Applied and Professional Writing major with a Mass Communication: Journalism minor who will graduate in 2021. She is from Rosemount, MN, and likes to listen to music, go hiking, watch football and pro basketball, and daydream about traveling abroad in her free time.