There’s something called the Golden Rule; you may have heard it before when you were younger. This rule states that you should do to others what you would have them do to you. To put it in fewer words, treat people how you want to be treated. While this rule isn’t a “one size fits all” rule, and every situation should be dealt with in a manner that is appropriate to that specific situation, this is a good rule to keep in mind. But I’ll take this a step further: don’t ask people to do things you wouldn’t also do for them.
This rule is something I try to keep in mind every time I consider asking someone to do something for me. If I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing the same or some equivalent action for them, I don’t ask, especially if I know they’re the type to say yes to most requests. To go ahead and ask them despite knowing I wouldn’t feel comfortable or be able to return the favor in some way would be to take advantage of them. That’s not fair, nor is it right.
Here’s an example: you have to stay home from school because of a family emergency or illness. You quickly message a friend or classmate and ask if they could send you the notes for the lecture. But stop. Would you be willing to share your notes with them or someone else if they needed to stay home from class? I know many people who feel uncomfortable sharing their notes with other people, and their reasons are valid. However, I don’t think it’s fair to ask someone to share notes with you if you wouldn’t do the same thing for them.
Of course, like the first rule I mentioned, this is not a one size fits all rule but it is something to keep in mind both in your academic life and your professional one. Maybe if there’s someone you often ask to help you with work or school, try to offer to help them a few times, rather than waiting for them to ask! If they’re like a lot of people I know, chances are they’re too shy to make requests, even though they may have needs you could help with.
This is especially important as we head into the final weeks of classes. We need to be good to each other and work together on studying and projects. You never know what your classmates and friends may have to offer in the realm of studying and final assignments!
I’m just beginning my own Death Week (So. Many. Assignments. SOS), but I want to wish everyone luck and I hope we can all maintain at least a sliver of sanity, whether all of your finals are before the official exam period, or if they’re scattered throughout December. May we all survive!