being kind to those around you

A Reminder to Be Kind to Those Around You

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The other day I found myself in a pretty interesting situation. I was going to a Sunday basketball game against Mount St. Mary's. I met up with my friends, and we walked to the Xfinity Center.

When we got there, we did what we were supposed to and got scanned by the security and then went inside to get our ticket scanned. The woman that scanned my ticket asked me how I was, and I responded, while smiling, with "I'm good. How are you?"

That was all a pretty normal thing to do but then came the interesting part. After she scanned my ticket and checked my ID, I said "Thank you. Have a good day." She immediately responded with, "Thank you for smiling at me and talking to me."

I had just gotten thanked for saying thank you. This was so bizarre to me. I am a very extroverted person so talking to people comes naturally to me. I also grew up watching my dad talk to every cashier and employee we came in contact with when we were out. I always talk to people when I am out and about.

This got me thinking; if this woman had to thank me for smiling and thanking her, that must mean that barely anyone else had done that recently. Then I started observing others while leaving the dining hall.

The employee at the front always tells people to "have a good night," and rarely anyone says it back to them. The other day, the employee didn't say anything at first. So my friend and I both said something like "have a good day" or "have a good one." The woman working there looked utterly surprised that we said something to her. It took her a moment to reply to us.

Why are we so happy and comfortable with our friends, but the minute we encounter an employee we don't know, we turn cold and unfriendly?

There are so many people around us that are constantly doing stuff for us. On a college campus, there are the people that clean your dorms, make your food, clean the dining halls, work at sporting events, and work at convenience stores. These people do so much for the people around them, and it often goes unnoticed.

I think this is something that needs to be changed. We need to be more appreciative of these people and show our gratitude towards them.

I was heartbroken when I had this encounter at the Xfinity Center. We all need to be nicer to other people, but especially people that do little things for us. You never know what is going on in somebody's life that you don't know about.

A simple greeting, thank you or genuine smile can make all the difference in someone's day. It definitely doesn't go unnoticed. It is worth the five extra seconds to be nice to people.

This holiday season especially, I challenge you to spread a little bit of kindness and warmth wherever you go.

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Starting My Days Early Is The Best Decision I've Made This Summer

It's not impossible to become a morning person.

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Every year until now, the thing I looked forward to the most about getting out of school was being able to sleep in. When I say I used to sleep in, that would be an understatement. I used to love to stay in bed all day, watch movies, and not get up until I absolutely had to do something. I dreaded days I had to wake up before 10 a.m. for any reason and did everything in my power to avoid having to do so.

This year, I decided that I was tired of wasting my whole day sleeping, so I started getting up as early as 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. every morning, making a cup of coffee, and trying to do something productive with my time. While more hours in the day was what I was after, I found so many more added benefits to dragging myself out of bed.

Since I've been getting up early, I've had so much more energy. When I used to lay in bed all day, I would finally get up and lay around all day until I had something I absolutely had to do. When I get up early, I am so much more motivated to get things done, whether that be cleaning up around the house or going to the track to get a quick run in.

I found that I've also been in an overall better mood. There's something about making a healthy breakfast with a cup of coffee after the sun has just come up and allowing some time for myself in the mornings that really sets a good mood that I can carry into the rest of my day. Speaking of breakfast, last summer, I probably only ate the first meal of the day a few times because I always slept through it, and toast and eggs have never tasted so good.

In addition, getting up early and being active throughout my day has done wonders for my sleeping schedule.I have been able to fall asleep much easier and don't have as much trouble sleeping through the night as I used to, which was a constant struggle for me throughout the school year. Since I have more energy, I don't spend as much time napping, either.

So, if you're looking to make a positive lifestyle change this summer, I highly recommend not sleeping the few summer days we have away. Coming from someone who was the complete opposite of a morning person, I'm here to tell you that it is possible to become one if you really try. Now, when I go back to school, I plan on scheduling 8 a.m. classes instead of dodging them at all costs.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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