Paying it forward is all about carrying out random acts of kindness, without expecting anything in return. If you’ve seen the film ‘Pay It Forward’ – which I highly recommend everyone watch – you’ll know that the idea is that you pay it forward to three people with a selfless act, and they pay it forward to a further three people; and so, the process continues. Of course, I’m not forcing you to carry out three acts, but doing at least one is a great way to make those around you smile and to give something back to the world.
1. Donate Clothes
As students, we’re always on nights out, even now during exam season (no regrets). I know half of us wouldn’t be seen dead in the same outfit and are constantly spending money we don’t have on the latest Missguided collaboration release. If you’re not going to wear that Kendall Jenner inspired chain-mail birthday dress again, then hand it in at your local charity shop and let someone else rake in the compliments – and Instagram likes – at a much cheaper price.
2. Help the Homeless
I’m pretty sure, that during the day, we all live off McDonald’s or Greggs, as it’s cheap and fast. I’m also sure that you pass at least one homeless person on your way to university, or just whilst out and about. Why not actually buy a 99p mayo chicken or even cheaper, a 90p sausage roll, for someone on the streets. This is a great way to pay it forward – it’s effortless and cheap. So next time you’re fussing over whether to get cheddar melts or mozzarella sticks, remember to pick up a spot of lunch for the homeless.
3. Give Blood
I think one of the best ways and most rewarding, is to donate blood. As long as you fit the requirements – fit and healthy, and a certain age and weight – then you’re good to go. You can only give blood every 12 weeks if you’re male and 16 weeks if you’re female, so this is a great way to make a positive change with little commitment.
4. Inspirational Notes
Leaving motivational Post-its dotted around your university campus – particularly the library – is a great way to pay it forward. Your encouraging words may just be the boost that someone needs to help them get through their tough day of work. This is such an important act now, especially during in exam season, when many people just need that little bit of support and inspiration to truly get them going.
5. Hand over your books
We all hate having to fork out for course textbooks, which if we’re being realistic, we never actually end up reading. Once you’ve passed the year – which I hope we all do – why not pass your books on to those in the year below, either for free or a small fee. Save them the hassle of buying the books and hopefully, those in the year above will do the same.