A Plea for Politeness

A Plea for Politeness

Being polite seems to be going out of style, when it's something to be practiced everyday.

Maybe it’s the Midwesterner in me, or maybe I’m just crazy, but I firmly believe politeness has gone out of style in our generation. I hate when people rag on a generation for no reason, but this time it is crucial--I feel as if being polite is genuinely slipping through the millennial cracks and becoming a thing of the past.

It could just be the fact that it’s New York, or this school could be the exception to the rule, but I have had the door slammed on my face because someone couldn’t be bothered to look back and hold it, and it's happened too many times for it to be just one person.

No, I’m not saying we should bring back the 1950s or that guys should be holding the doors for every female they see, but what I am saying is that we should have enough respect for each other to be polite. Yes, we can take the second derivative of an equation, or interpret a Shakespeare play, or memorize the periodic table, yet we fail to do something as simple as hold a door.

I get that we are all fast-paced--we have maybe 15 minutes to get across campus for classes and we all want to be first in the salad line at Trillium. But, politeness doesn’t have to be a grand gesture coupled with a top hat and a pea coat. It can be a small action that doesn’t take any extra time out of your day.

Simply smiling, holding the door so someone who is right behind you doesn’t get smacked in the face, taking your headphones out while talking to someone—all simple gestures that take no additional time. And when someone smiles back at you, or someone else holds the door for you, or when someone wishes you a good day because you engaged in an actual conversation, you will feel better too.

Being polite is a matter of respect. Everybody forgets to hold the door every once in awhile, but making a habit of showing those around you respect through basic acts of politeness should be a priority. We should all try and be conscious of how our actions could potentially affect others.

Trying to shove onto the bus before people get off isn’t helping anyone, not even you. Watching Tasty videos when you’re in the first row of the lecture hall is not only a direct slap in the face to your professor but is also distracting to all the people behind you. Subtweeting or posting about people on social media instead of directly talking to them is specifically meant to be hurtful and usually achieves the result. Doing these things actually muddies our life. Then we’re left with incomplete lecture notes, burned bridges, and an embarrassing memory of being told to wait your turn by the bus driver.

Us being polite makes our live easier. It also sets a positive trend in our environments and makes the days less difficult to get through. Being polite to someone encourages them to do the same. It doesn’t hurt to be kind to someone who isn’t your interviewer or professor or superior, and show them a little respect. You’ll appreciate it the next time you walk to class in the rain, and someone makes the effort to hold the door open so you don’t spend any unnecessary time getting soaked.
Cover Image Credit: Universities Abroad

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"


It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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