“Do to others what you would want done to you.” Stemming from the Bible and becoming a societal rule of thumb, this saying holds true, ESPECIALLY during finals week. As campus becomes an extremely stressful environment, I’m sure you’re feeling frazzled with tests and project deadlines looming. Yet, one of the greatest ways to cheer yourself up and to relieve stress is to do just that for other people, to be an encourager.
So, if you want to brighten someone’s day with a random act of kindness during finals week, here are seven different ideas to help you truly be an encourager.
Give them food
Let’s be real-food makes everything better. If you have some friends you know are cramming late into the night, why not pick them up a pizza? Or, if you want to destress a little bit and bake, why not make a few plates of cookies that you can put in busy halls of different buildings for people to enjoy? Food will always cheer somebody up, and providing it is one of the easiest ways to be an uplifter.
Have you ever gotten an unsigned note with compliments or words of encouragement? Knowing someone took the time to think about you without wanting you to feel obligated to do anything in return is a great feeling. You can go full on ninja with this one; write a few notes for people on campus that you want to encourage, and then get them put in boxes, slip them under doors, put them in their cars, whatever you want to do. Have fun with the anonymity while knowing that somebody is being encouraged.
Help someone pack or clean
The end of finals brings Christmas break, and that means people are packing to go home. Not only that, but many schools require you to leave your room in amazing shape over break, so on top of the stress of packing is the stress of cleaning. Coming alongside someone and offering to help them get these menial things done could save them time and keep them from stressing out over something non-academic.
Review with someone or teach a concept
If someone’s stressing out over test material they’re struggling with and you excel in this subject, there is no simpler way to encourage them than to sit with them, help them review, and explain the things that they need more knowledge on. Not only will you help fend off some stress and uplift them, but you’ll also help their GPA. Win-win.
Genuinely compliment ten people
Genuine compliments aren’t things like, “Cute dress!” They truly speak to an attribute or characteristic of the person, not just something they’re wearing or a way they look that day. These sorts of compliments make a heart soar, so try giving them out to ten people throughout the week.
Ask someone what would help them destress, then do said thing for them
One of the best ways to encourage someone is doing the thing that would help the most. You can’t be the person to figure that out-what’s truly going to encourage them the most will probably be something obscure that you wouldn’t think of. Maybe it’s as simple as giving them a hug or as complex as helping them put together their model of the universe for a science class. Whatever it is, ask them what they need and then help them with that thing.
Brighten a room
Earlier this semester, I walked into one of the restrooms on campus to find that several staff ladies had written compliments and sweet encouragements on sticky notes and had surrounded the mirror with them. That totally made me smile, and it was an reoccurring encouragement all week. Grab some sticky notes, posterboard, or whatever it is, and create something encouraging that will noticeably change a space. You have no idea how many people will see or how badly they need to hear something like that, and that’s part of the fun.