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Jackie Ryan / Her Campus
Wellness > Mental Health

a big thank you note to every little thing

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

“Enjoy every little thing that life throws your way. The sunsets, the takeaways, the dogs, the laughter, the moon, the drinks and the soft toilet paper. Your happiness is too pure. You must wake up and understand that you are living someone’s dream. You are lucky enough to have so many good things, even if they are hidden within the bad. Enjoy everything, you never know how long you will have them for.”

Spring Flowers Pink Summer Warm Weather Season Color Bloom Beautiful Trees Flowers Life Happy Bright Fun Outside Outdoors Calm
Jackie Ryan / Her Campus


For me, gratitude is the most important thing I will ever practice. True happiness comes from gratitude, & the best part about happiness is it isn’t just something you’ll ever “get”. You will never reach a level where you’ve achieved “maximum happiness” and just find yourself done. 

Happiness isn’t that promotion, job, trip, money, or that someone-even if it’s the one. Happiness is something you create for yourself, and while that’s terrifying sometimes, it’s also fulfilling & beautiful, because that means nobody can take that away from you. 


Our current situation is the perfect example of the fact that life will continue to teach us that we can never run out of things, people, & places to be grateful for, and thus proving to us our endless & unexpected sources of love, light, & happiness. 


Every day isn’t good but there is something good in every day. 


I practice gratitude because I find that the things, people, moments, & activities  that make me the happiest are the little things in life that I might overlook. At some of the darker points in my life, when I was surrounded by people but still felt alone, or was simply unfulfilled in my daily routine; I began keeping a journal where I would make myself write down at least one thing that day that I was grateful for, that made me happy or smile. 


This year, I decided to make it more of a routine in an effort to be the most intentional I can be with finding the good in each day, using my bullet journal.

→ but, you can make this list anywhere!!

marble and pink notebook
Plush Design Studio

 Anyways, in my bullet journal since mid-January each month I have made a list, numbered with a line for each day, which I then fill in with the “highlight” of my day. Each day I write down my “highlight”, aka any moment, feeling, person I saw, etc. that made me happy. This motivates me to do it daily, but you don’t even need to put that pressure on it because practicing gratitude at all is better than nothing. (it is a practice after all, habits take time!)


What fulfills me the most in doing this, is being able to look back & read over the past months & what made me smile; because I found that it was the little moments & surprises of the day that had I not written down I absolutely without a doubt would not recall in a day, week, month, or year?!

post it wall of love
Kyle Glenn

There is absolutely no in between with examples here because I have found my records to range from my joy of a class being cancelled, an artist dropping a new song, an unexpected phone call with a friend, to a cute baby wearing a pink hat that I waved to from afar (which btw I am so happy I wrote down because that baby was so cute I’m still thinking about it so thank you deema of the past). 

Honestly though the best part about all of this is that when you challenge yourself to sit down at the end of the day, and find the good, the good gets better. I truly believe the more you express your gratitude, that the universe will give you more to be thankful for. 


I am immensely thankful for every little thing that makes me so happy. So, this is a big thank you note to every little thing that makes life so precious. 

thank you note with pen, gift, cookies, and flowers
Pexels / Giftpundits.com

Dear, strangers: thank you. To every single stranger that has ever graced me with an unexpected act of kindness.

Not to be dramatic but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t shed a tear over the mere thought of the pure kindness that this takes. 

I truly appreciate any act of kindness towards a loved one, but when it isn’t a need, but simply a want from someone who doesn’t even know you? That makes me happy & that gives me hope.


irish coffee
Thimo van Leeuwen

So, thank you to every one of you that has opened the door for me, said “thank you” when I opened the door for you, paid for my drink ahead of me in the drive thru (??), given me a random compliment, asked if I needed help, let me pet your dog, or offered to scoot over just a little more at a crowded coffee shop when you see my nervous face & anxious self waiting for the perfect moment to interrupt you. 


Dear, surprises: thank you. To anyone who has been sweet enough whether they know it or not, to surprise with me a “just cause” gift, send me something that reminds them of me, or grace me with an unexpected hangout, call, note, or text. I love to plan, but the unplanned moments like these make me just as happy. :,)


Dear weather: thank YOU. If you have ever lived anywhere in Kansas, you just get it. I am very thankful for the inconsistency & unpredictability of Kansas weather though, because I do believe it has made me more excited & thankful for a beautiful day outside. Thank you to the sun for the light & also the rain for the growth. ;)


Dear, cute pets & babies. I would like to personally thank your parents & owners for letting me pet & play with you, & tolerate my awe-ing an extreme amount of times in passing you on the street. That’s all there. 

Girl In Iu Hoosiers Shirt With Dog
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Dear, FRIENDS -(which they are so supportive & if any of them are here reading, thank you so much because you know how much i LOVE YOU HI I LOVE AND MISS YOU). hehe. 

In all seriousness though, I am so thankful for the lovely friends I have in my life. I am so in awe of every single one of my friends’ inner & outer beauty, understanding, hearts, talent, intelligence, their HUMOR, THEIR HUGS -and the list goes on. 

I am however most grateful for my friends  & the time that we choose to invest into one another & our friendship. :,) I am most thankful for what you all choose to do, because I know you do not have to send me that sweet text, give me a ride, walk me to class, or hug me a little tighter (even though this is like the third hug I’ve asked for in a row & you actually need to go this time) -your hearts & what you choose to be is what inspires me most. <3

Anna Schultz-Friends Cuddling In Holiday Pajamas
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Therefore, if it wasn’t evident already I am so thankful for every moment we get to spend together online & of course hopefully in-person again someday soon. :)


Dear, MUSIC – I don’t know where or if a lot of us would be here without you. Every form of art provides me with a feeling of togetherness, and gives us all a beautiful & vulnerable space to connect.

spotify, phone, headphones, music
Fixelgraphy / Unsplash

Thank you to every friend that has shared a song they think I might like with me, introduced me to a new artist, or texted me immediately when they hear an @arianagrande song playing. Nothing compares or makes my heart happier. 


As I conclude my note here, the following are some other oddly specific (maybe??) -but, honorable mentions which I cannot, will not, and do not need to explain (simply because I cannot). 


Honorable mentions include:


  • When one of my friends calls me by full name. It brings me an equal amount of joy & satisfaction to call them by full name. I think it’s so cute & that’s all.

  • I LOVE paper bags?? I think they are so fun to hold?? Reusable bags for the WIN though but like -maybe it’s just as fun for me recycling them?? 

shopping bags
Jacek Dylag

  • Cute fits. Fashion, darling.

  • Disney movies, disney musicals, & DCOMs. Disney just takes me somewhere else. Some things just feel right. 

  • @arianagrande. loml.

  • @hercampus.ku meetings :,,,)

  • a really gOOD HAIR DAY -especially when i was not anticipating it, because it makes the outfit 10 TIMES BETTER.

  • when someone says “this made me think of you” .. do u HEAR me sobbing?? or “i miss you” -i am CRYING NOW??

  • my mom’s little “just cause” gifts for me & bringing me food because she knows i forget when i’m stressed :,).

  • when you order a package online & it comeS EARLY 

  • sleeping to the sound of rain. preferably a storm.

  • the smell of spring. she has a smell.

Nature Flowers Spring Pink
Jackie Ryan / Her Campus

  • watching old, nostalgic disney & nickelodeon episodes :,)

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle amid a nighttime fireworks show

  • when u FINALLY take the test & can breathe & stop feeling guilty for not spending every ounce of your existence STUDYING FOR SAID TEST.

  • soft blankets

  • baking (mainly eating what i baked.)

  • a good conversation w/ a friend (obviously late night or in the car tends to be the best & these are facts & idk why??)

  • hugs. or one better: long time no see, REUNION hugs. 

  • and of course, how could I forget to thank you for reading my writing ;) hehe.


I really could sit here and keep typing away, bUt I hope what you take away from my big thank you note to the little things that keep me sane & make my heart happy, is to enjoy & appreciate everyone & everything we have. 

Sneakers Sand White Pants
Jackie Ryan / Her Campus

& if you yourself are ever feeling small, just remember what big love you bring to the people in your life.  We might be small in the grand scheme of things, but we each make a big difference & an important impact. We need all of the little things & all of us little people.


As Winnie the Pooh (my most reputable & beloved source) has said, 

“sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts.”


Hi, I'm Deema! I'm a senior at the University of Kansas majoring in Marketing with a minor in Psychology! I enjoy all things fashion, makeup, mental health, and music related -especially my queen, @arianagrande.