Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Dartmouth chapter.

“Never miss an opportunity to positively influence someone.”

    These were the routine words my dad said to me every morning as he bade me goodbye before I left for school. As I distractedly stuffed my scattered books and binders into my backpack and grabbed any semblance of breakfast in sight, I would mindlessly comply, “I know, Dad.” He didn’t stop with this simple morning reminder, either. As my family would cross-examine me about my day over dinner, my dad would ask what I did to positively influence someone. Some days I would have an answer: “I tutored a freshman’s essay in the Writing Center,” or “I quizzed Sydney at lunch for her bio test.” Some days, however, I didn’t, and he would shake his head and tell me to remember to the next day.  

In today’s world where we’re constantly checking our various social media platforms or caught up in texting rather than face-to-face interactions, we’re removing ourselves from the possibility of a real social interaction or relationship. Even listening to headphones while walking across the Green projects the image of closing oneself off from others around us. Humans are, by nature, reliant on relationships, whether they be familial, platonic, or romantic. We thrive off of social interaction and a sense of companionship.

At first, my dad’s advice didn’t seem all that big of a deal to me. How could one little nice thing I do for someone make any difference in their day? But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to realize that doing a good deed for someone, no matter how small, makes a real connection with them. Don’t get me wrong, I like to listen to music as I walk around campus. However, even though I’m wearing my headphones, I make a conscious effort to look around me and share a simple smile with someone as we cross paths. You never know the kind of day they’re having—maybe they’re stressing out about that midterm coming up, or they haven’t quite finished an essay that’s due in two hours. Just sharing a momentary smile as you pass by someone on the Green can forge a real connection and change their whole outlook on the day.

I’m a firm believer that though people may not remember the words you said to them, they will remember the way you made them feel. I want to be remembered for making someone’s seemingly bleak day a little bit brighter. And that’s why my dad’s advice is the best I’ve ever received.


Hayley Divers

Dartmouth '21

Hayley Divers is a '21 at Dartmouth College from Tampa, FL. She is majoring in linguistics with a minor in English. Besides writing for HerCampus, Hayley loves music (especially country). She plays acoustic guitar, piano, ukulele, and sings in the Dartmouth Decibelles a cappella group, where she serves as the group's Business Manager. Other interests include: Taylor Swift, Disney, and all things pink.