If you can go out and buy a whiteboard and a few whiteboard markers, you have what it takes to make a random acts of kindness board. But what are random acts of kindness?
A random act of kindness is any sort of unexpected and selfless considerate gesture. This could be anything from going out of your way to pick your friend up from a party they don't want to be at anymore, to paying for a strangers groceries, or even just lending an ear to a friend in need.
Whether you have one roommate or five, there's bound to be some conflict in the house. Odds are you'll disagree on how often you should do the dishes or how late you should have friend over, if not some other issue. But, it doesn't all have to be bad.
A random acts of kindness board will not only reward you and your roommates for being kind to each other, but it will also encourage these sorts of unprecedented sweet gestures. Seeing who can get the most tallies underneath their name can turn into a friendly competition. You could even make some sort of incentive, like saying that whoever has the most tallies by the end of the month gets a $5 gift card or some other small but exciting prize.
What qualifies for a tally is up to each roommate's personal discretion. One roommate might give tallies just for making them laugh, whereas you might have to work a bit harder to earn one from the other. That's okay!
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don't necessarily have to get a tally from the person you acted kindly to. If another roommate chooses to acknowledge a kind act you did to a friend, a stranger, or even another unresponsive roommate, that works too! What really matters is that you all continue to be kind to one another.
But asking for tallies is a big no-no. In my apartment, if you were intending to give someone a tally but they ask if you're going to give them one before you do, you have to wait at least one night before giving it to them.
Don't let your roommates pressure you into giving them tallies. Only give them out if they really deserve them. Otherwise, they'll completely lose their meaning.
Do something kind today. Make your roommate her favorite dinner. Give her some company when everyone else is preoccupied. If she needs a ride home in the middle of the night and you're still awake, go pick her up. If your roommates get into a fight, be the mediator. Leave a note on her door reminding her of how important she is to you. Listen to her cry about whatever's on her mind and remind her that it's gonna be okay. Eat ice cream together and watch Netflix even if it's during the only free time you have all week.
Be there for your roommates and they'll be there for you. Whether you like it or not, your roommates are your second family, and it's important to give them the same love and attention you would give your family back home. Embrace the college experience. The going broke, the struggling through classes, the falling in and out of love, the losing and gaining friends, the minimum wage jobs. You might feel like you're alone, but we're all going through it. This is life and sometimes it sucks, but a little random act of kindness here and there might help make it not so bad.