My first few months at Texas A&M were not the most exciting times of my life. I tried everything I could think of to make my college experience as great as it could be. From being overly involved in a myriad of activities to ensuring my studies were up to speed, something was really lacking.
It wasn’t until later in my sophomore year that I decided to slow things down and focus on what truly did matter to me. It wasn’t trying to get poster-child grades or doing the most with my time, but rather leaving an impact on each person I interacted with every day. This change in perspective began after reflecting on a quote I saw in the MSC. The quote reads, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I started to see this manifest in my life after noticing how people can leave such a positive mark on me. As a result, I made a pact with myself to do the same. I believe that one small step in this direction can drastically change our college experience. Boy, did it change mine. With that said, these are some of the ways that I have made someone’s day great:
1. Giving gratitude
I had the same professor twice in a row in my computer science curriculum. My friend and I would get so stuck on problems and we always ran to our professor for dire help. On the last week of one semester, we decided to write a heartfelt letter expressing our deep gratitude for her passion to help us truly understand the material. As a result of our gratitude, I felt her joy raise through the roof. It was in that moment I knew that we made her day great.
2. Inviting others into our lives
Due to the constant amount of work and responsibilities we may face, I truly do believe that we cannot do college on our own. For a long time, I was so fixated on thinking that this was a one-man show and studied alone most of the time. However, once I started inviting people into my life by engaging in deep conversation about topics that interest us in class or by allowing them into my study spaces, they started to open up to me about their feelings on the class content, materials, and even their lives.
3. Listening intently
I feel more loved and cared for whenever a friend opens their ears and listens intently to what I have to say. Due to this, I have always made an effort to rid myself of any distractions and really bring myself into my friend’s shoes and empathize with the situations they are going through. I have found that people really just need an outlet to process their thoughts and that simply having someone listen can make their day.
4. Strike up a conversation
You know those awkward elevator rides filled with silence and thoughts about when your floor level is going to arrive? I know this feeling all too well. The times that aren’t silent, however, are the best times. When someone randomly strikes up a small conversation with me, I am reminded that Texas A&M is the friendliest campus I have ever been on. Who knows, maybe you’ll make a new friend in doing so!
These small things can make a big difference in people’s lives – my life included. I will always remember those who showed gratitude, invited me into their lives, truly listened to what I can bring to the table, and randomly initiated a conversation with me. For those experiences, I will forever be grateful.
The College of Engineering offers a wide variety of opportunities available to you. Find out what you can get involved in today!