The Power Of Surprising Someone

The Power Of Surprising Someone

Treat yo'self, but treats others too.

Last December, I had the merry idea to make little Christmas treat bags for all my friends. After all, for college students, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and sometimes the worst. While the rest of the world gets in the holiday spirit, we desperately ask Santa for A’s on our finals.

The gifts contained nothing big: a small Target dollar spot treat bag, some candy canes and chocolate. I gave each friend a little individualized note saying I felt thankful for their friendship and good luck on finals. I left the bags outside my friends’ dorms so they’d be there as a surprise when they got back from the library. I left LeMans to finish studying with a smile on my face; I was glad to have done something nice, but it was small. I figured that’s that no big deal.

But to my friends, it was a big deal. Within an hour, I was shocked by all the thank you texts and calls I was receiving from friends saying I had made their day, and how much it meant to them. A couple candy canes and a Reese’s? That’s all it took?

Of course, that’s all it took! I had taken the time during hectic finals season to let my friends know I was thinking of them, and who doesn’t like getting a surprise treat outside their door? In turn, I felt so incredibly happy spreading at least a little holiday cheer, and each “Thank you” I got made my holiday a little better too.

Obviously it’s important to treat yo’self (hello, Sephora and Chic-fil-A waffle fries), but sometimes, nothing beats the incredible feeling of treating others. Here’s why:

1. Do good, feel good

Surprisingly, most people say they prefer giving gifts than receiving. Think about it: at birthday parties as a kid, you loved picking out your friend’s present and watching them open it. The idea of acting how you want to feel and treating others how you want to be treated isn’t new. Doing things that make others happy makes you happy.

2. Strengthen relationships

Doing good for others obviously makes them like you a little more. You can also get to know people more. Take your dad to the movies and offer to pay, and you could end up learning a lot about him while bonding together. Help a classmate with their homework, and you could make a new friend.

3. You could get something back

OK, I know I’m being selfish, but seriously. People remember those random acts of kindness. If you get someone a small gift birthday, chances are, they’ll think of you and get you one on your day, too. Offering to help someone write their essay? Maybe they’ll help you with a chem lab. Even something as small as a compliment is often returned. It is better to give than receive, but oftentimes giving and receiving go hand in hand.

Giving really does feel better than receiving, and random acts of kindness never go unnoticed. Even if it’s something as small as candy canes and a few Reese’s, make it a goal to try and surprise someone once in awhile- you’ll be surprised at just how happy it makes you feel too.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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I Am A Shopaholic Who Is Easily Enabled, Please Send Help

No, seriously, please do...tell them to bring cash, too.


I remember the circumstances right before I first started college. I had worked a summer job and just got paid. My parents helped me set up a bank account that came with a debit card, and I had just been granted access to Amazon Prime…It all went downhill from there. I think I blew through more than $500 the first night and the other $400 or so over the next two weeks.

One thing I learned about myself is that when I have no money, I am not really lacking in anything. I am content in life. I can go on, unbothered. However, the moment I have some money on hand, there are suddenly so many things I find myself "needing." I have all these flashlights, watches, supplements, sneakers, and rings to pick from.

Sometimes, I stop to imagine how much money I would have to my name if I knew how to save any of it…maybe I would be able to pay my college fees, or at least a decent portion of them. I probably could. However, then, I think about all the things that would be missing in my room if I had not bought them. My room would be much emptier, barer shelves and emptier drawers. It is honestly a toss up on what is the better option, money to spare or little knick-knacks to enjoy.

I have a problem. I admit it. I can control it slightly by creating many extensive and specific Amazon wish lists so that I can siphon off some of the itching urges to buy by stocking different items on "maybe later" categories, things I would buy if I won the lottery, had a steady income, or just had the money I could spend without handicapping myself. This listing system only backfires when I decide I could afford to buy one of the listed items then decide that since I am getting that one thing, I could afford to buy that other thing. Boom! Next thing I know, five minutes later, there are 10 items in my cart, and my wallet is three figures lighter.

I know I do not actually need some (many) of the things I bought, but I do enjoy having them. Some are helpful. Some are fun or make things slightly easier or surprising. I do need to (and plan to) work on my impulse control because, often, something pops into my head that I suddenly would really like to have. In seconds, I have Amazon open, and it will arrive in two days. My bank account is taking hits left and right.

Is there a point to this article? Not really. I just have this problem and I am sure I am not the only one. Just being relatable here. It's hard. Some much to buy. So little cash to dish out. All of this stems from my general lack of self-discipline. I procrastinate. I speak before thinking. I take on more than I can handle, and I often forget to or neglect to take care of my basic needs. If it was just up to me with no other obligations, I would spend my life either hibernating and reading in bed for hours. That sounds nice.

I could just try winning the lottery.

It took me too long and too much energy just to write this article.

I figure that trying to address my compulsive buying would be like treating a symptom of a much more expansive and underlying problem of self-indulgence and the lack of control over many aspects of my life. I should focus my attention on the root of all my issues…but that is so much work…

Maybe later.

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