Amidst the holiday season, we tend to get caught up in the craze of gift-giving and detailed wish lists and forget to focus on the true meaning of the holidays. It’s a time to be grateful for all of the blessings you have in your life, to be a better version of yourself and most importantly to put others before yourself. This time of year is extremely stressful for college students as finals are right around the corner, but I challenge you to take a little bit of your time each week to spread holiday cheer each day on campus with these 25 acts of kindness (in no particular order).
1. Hold the door for the people behind you.
2. Thank the Pitt employees for their hard work that makes our lives a little bit easier every day.
3. Compliment someone despite whether or not you know them.
4. Wish a friend good luck on their exam.
5. Help someone who’s struggling in a class that you’re in or have already taken.
6. Spare a few dollars to the homeless on Forbes Avenue who don’t have a family to go home to during the holidays like we do. If you don’t carry cash, stop at an ATM or purchase a few inexpensive meals to give out instead.
7. Take the time to fill out the OMET surveys with respect, honesty and maturity. Our professors really appreciate our feedback.
8. Let your good friends know how much you appreciate your friendship by giving them a small gesture, whether it’s a homemade gift, a heart-to-heart conversation or something purchased that you know they’d love.
9. When your roommates are stressed during these last few weeks, help them out with the little things like doing their dishes or brewing them a cup of tea.
10. Send a handwritten letter to your friends at other universities full of good sentiments.
11. Donate to drives in the Pitt community such as toy drives or military care package drives.
12. Step in when you see anyone being put down.
13. Spark conversation with those who are often by themselves.
14. When waiting for the Port Authority buses, let the elderly and parents with children enter before you, and if the bus is packed, give them your seat.
15. Call your family, especially your grandparents and relatives who you don’t see frequently.
16. Thank your professor and TAs at the end of your last class.
17. If you have a car, offer to drive those who live near you back home for the holidays, even if you aren’t close friends.
18. Volunteer for an event happening in the community.
19. Take the time to go to the things your friends are doing such as fundraisers, sports games and showcases. Your support means the world to them.
20. Be patient and generous towards wait staff. It’s an extremely busy time at restaurants during the holidays, and it can be difficult for servers to handle the rush, especially if shorthanded.
21. If you’re working during the holiday season, be patient with and helpful towards your customers. Go the extra mile to make their day.
22. Care for Pitt’s environment in ways like picking up trash or conserving energy in your dorm.
23. If you have friends who practice a different faith than yours, ask them about their traditions if they celebrate a holiday during this time. Take part in what they celebrate for a day and extend an invitation for them to join in your celebrations.
24. We all know during the month of December that Hillman is packed with students studying for finals. Encourage other students to join you rather than claiming the whole table as your own. Bring some study snacks to share with those who join you.
25. Lastly, be kind to yourself too! You made it through the semester, so treat yourself to something special.