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The Five Most Important “Thank Yous” You Will Ever Write

The digital age has all but done away with standard stationery sets and heartwarming Hallmark cards, but there are some things better said off-screen. Giving a tangible thank you note may seem counterculture or even pointlessly archaic, but I guarantee you, there is power in paper. A thank you card is the ultimate way to say “You’re special,” or “I appreciate you.” In this month of giving thanks, I challenge you to write a thank you note to someone worthy of your kind words. They will remember your small but significant efforts to go against the grain and revive the handwritten word.

1) They’ve put up with your s*** since you were a blubbering baby and you’ve inevitably taken every second of them for granted. Take a moment to show you care, and send your parents a thank you for every breakdown, badmouthing or toxic diaper change you’ve put them through. 

2) Let’s face it: when you were young and rebellious, they were there to share in your angst and sport the same ridiculous Ashley Tisdale side part of 2005. Your childhood friends could flatten you with a look, then hug you madly in the same breath. Thank them for all of the embarrassing yet life-shaping events they shared with you. P.S.: The same sentiment goes for your current college buds!

3) There’s always one. That teacher that just gets you. You feel like they might have been you in another life, and you might want to become them in this one. They spent their free time helping you excel, shaping you into an actual human being with unique skills. They deserve your thanks (and maybe a cup of coffee and a life-update, while you’re at it).

4) You walk past them silently, surging with guilt. They pick up your trash, serve your food or clean your dorm. You don’t know whether to chat them up or let them carry on covertly. They are the service workers of this world, the band of blue-collar boys and girls that make your life easier. Thank one with a note, but acknowledge all with a glance, a nod or a smile. 

5) They gave you the shot you needed to be noticed. They listened to you talk about your skills and nodded as you nervously fumbled for witty answers to their questions. They said, “We like you,” “We want you,” or “Better luck next time.” And you were better for it. Thank your interviewers and/or future employers for the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than your body of college work.

I am in my senior year and last semester at the University of Iowa, majoring in journalism, minoring in English and pursuing a certificate in creative writing. My passions include writing (poetry, short fiction and anything my mind must expel onto the page), working out and spending time with my friends. I stand by the aphorism, "the pen is mightier than the sword" and hope to use my skills as a writer to positively impact as many people on this planet as I can.
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