Going out of your way to make another happy is much simpler than you thought. College kids are busy. That's a fact. We often do everything we can to avoid going out of our way. But what's the fun in that? Whatever happened to caring about those around you? Those who walk the same campus as you? Your friends? Your family?
It doesn't take much, and it's truly a win-win type of deal. Not only did you put a smile on someone else's face, but you put a smile on your own face.
It's far too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. That's why we need to take a few minutes out of each day to slow down and pay attention to what's around us. To then stop and think that maybe someone's day might need a little bit more cheering up than yours. Maybe the girl next to you in class really could use for someone to ask how their day is going? What about that friend you haven't talked to in a while?
Maybe they could benefit more than you think from letting them know you're thinking about them? There's so much more going on around us if we just stop and take in a minute to put someone else's feelings in front of our own.
1. Pay for the person behind you
Maybe it's offering to pick up the order behind you at the drive-thru. Maybe it's even just leaving a few dollars towards their coffee or meal or even gas at the pump! The best part of this one, it can often have a chain reaction type of response: where the next person pays it forward, and so on.
2. Leave some money down on someone else's parking ticket
What if that was all they had to pay the meter? What if there are extenuating circumstances that has kept them from returning on time? Or maybe you just relate to how seeing a parking ticket under your wiper blade can really ruin your day. Leave a few dollars behind to help them pay it.
3. Talk to the person next to you in class
Often times the same people sit around us in classes, and we never even bother to engage with them. Saying hi to someone next to you could just make their whole day.
4. Purchase a meal for someone in need
Maybe that same homeless person you see every day is doing whatever they can to find a job and support themselves. A free, hot meal might be the best thing to come their way in a long while.
5. Compliment a total stranger
Let that girl on the bus know you love their shoes. The barista that their balayage is on point. Take a few seconds to compliment someone who probably wonders if anyone even notices them.
6. Let a friend know you're thinking about them
This one can make all the difference. You think about them constantly, so why don't you reach out. Let them know you're thinking about them, that you miss them. It could be the means to reconnecting that you were missing. In some cases, it can even save that friends life to hear someone out there cares.
7. Text your parents ;)
Let your mom know you're thankful for her. Send your parents a simple 'I love you'. This stuff really melts their hearts.
8. Send flowers on a whim
Let your significant other know you're thinking of them. Maybe not even flowers, but just leaving them something a little extra special to remind them how much you care.
9. Write someone a thank you note
It could be to that co-worker who really had your back that one time in picking up your shift, or to your TA whose review helped you ace your exam, or maybe it's the same bus driver who picks you up right on time every morning. To actually write down your thanks shows to them you took that extra time to make sure they knew how thankful you truly are.
10. Leave your mail/garbage/whoever man a snack or treat for on their route
Leave a snack bar behind a thank you note, so they know their normal day to day routine is making a difference. They can see their work and dedication is being noticed.
11. Hold the door open for the person behind you
This could be a given, but I still think some could use a reminder....
12. Make sure to say thank you
Don't just think it, say it. It's so simple, yet those two words can hold a lot of meaning. It never hurts to show someone your appreciation.
13. Smile at a stranger
This small act of kindness can in return put a smile on that stranger's face.
14. Ask someone how there day is going
It's nice to feel like someone cares. Offer up a listening ear to the stranger on the bus. Or ask the worker behind the register how work has been today. Show them that you care.
15. Let someone out in front of you in traffic
Now this can REALLY make someone's day. You know you're always complaining when no one stops to let you out in traffic, so why not consider that they next to you have the opportunity to let someone pull out.
16. Offer someone your seat on the bus
The CATA might always be jam packed, but that typically means there is someone who could probably use that seat a lot more than you.
17. Make a donation
Whether it's rounding up your change at the store when asked or dropping a $1 in a donation bucket while walking down the street, take sometime out of your day to listen and support a good cause.
18. Put change in an expired meter
This could be a game changer for someone and could save them from getting a pesky parking ticket.
19. Leave someone a decent tip
If their service stood out to you, reflect that in your gratuity! Help make up for those who probably didn't leave a tip at all.
20. Leave a nice comment on someone's social media post
We all know we love when we get comments on our own pictures, so why not leave one behind on someone else's?
See! It doesn't have to be much at all. It's amazing how simple it really can be to make someone's day when you stop and take a breather. When you give yourself a second to realize what's all around you, and you have to stop and realize what is really important? Do something good for yourself by paying it forward. Our world could use more of strangers being nice to strangers for the reason of 'just because'.
When going out of your way to make someone else's day, you're reconnecting yourself with the world around you. Social media can be a brilliant thing, but it can easily disconnect you from the real world. When you're only ever 'connected' over the internet, you are missing what's going on right in front of you in day to day life. When you pick your eyes up from the phone, you might actually see someone in need. It starts with you.