My winter break was characterized by a lot of free time that was filled with sleeping, catching up on televisions shows, spending time with friends and family. I became reliant on my family again; I got used to my mom doing my laundry again and cooking for me, my brother and sister making me laugh, and running errands with my dad.
I had not been home for that long since the summer time. Therefore, I was apprehensive to return back to school after my first winter break home from college.
However, I knew that returning back to school with a positive attitude would ultimately be beneficial for me. I was looking at the new semester as an opportunity to branch out, to seek new opportunities, and to start the new year fresh. To celebrate this new beginning, my friend and I went to a nice dinner in Downtown Gainesville.
Due to the restaurant's popularity and the fact that it was a Saturday night we waited an hour before being seated. Once we finally were seated, we sat down in a booth next to an older couple. Immediately after sitting down, the man told us how jealous he was of our booth. We offered to switch tables with them, but he laughed and responded with thank you but no thank you.
Throughout the entire meal, the couple kept reaching out to us; they asked us where we were from, if we were students, and what we were studying. We did not think anything of it, until we asked the waiter for the check.
He told us the check was taken care of, and we were extremely confused. Our initial thought was that one of our parents called ahead to treat us the dinner. However, he told us it was taken care of by the couple behind us.
I did not think such a simple act of kindness could have such a profound impact on me. It made me realize the world would be a kinder place if there were more people like this couple in it. It showed me the importance of treating others with kindness, and that does not necessarily mean paying for people's dinner all the time. Rather, it means being nice can go a long way.
That night I walked out of dinner with a smile on my face. I was so excited to tell everyone I knew about this couple that we had just met a couple hours before. Their simple act of kindness gave me hope for the future, and it set a positive tone for the upcoming semester. It made me realize that if I took the opportunity to be kind, like these people did, I could positively impact the life of others along with my own.
So to the couple that treated my friend and I to dinner last weekend, thank you. Thank you for showing us how paying it forward can positively impact others. Thank you for teaching us to see the glass half full rather than half empty. And finally, thank you for setting a positive tone for my second semester here at the University of Florida.