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Opinion

Random acts of kindess spread happiness on UW-River Falls campus

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October 17, 2013

Most news is dominated with sad, disturbing and heartbreaking stories.

The bad sometimes appears to dominate the good even though there is good in this world. It is hard to know exactly where to start when making this world a better place, but in reality it can be quite simple. A random act of kindness.

College provides a rare escape from the real world. “It’s hard to describe the college atmosphere. It seems like everyone here is more willing to take the time to say hello or hold a door open for you,” said Alexis Week, a student at UW-River Falls.

Whether or not you agree with that, it is hard to disagree with facts. It has been proven that when someone holds the door open for you there are a rush of endorphins on both sides. This is because the two most natural responses are to smile or communicate with the person who held the door, thus releasing endorphins. The endorphins are the hormones in your body that make you feel good and happy. Thus, by holding a door open for someone, not only are you making them happy, but you can make yourself happy as well.

Another great way to do an act of kindness is to help a person in need. It is now that time of year where in Wisconsin the precipitation gets heavy and not everyone is equipped to deal with it. Freshman Danie Boehmer shared her story of the time she got caught without an umbrella on the first rainy day on campus.

“I was trying to walk through it as fast as I could, but I still had a long walk to go. A guy came running up and offered to share his umbrella with me until I got out to my car. It was one of the nicest things someone has done for me,” Boehmer said.

By simply taking the time to help a stranger out, the guy made Boehmer’s entire day a lot better. That simple act of kindness led Boehmer to offer her umbrella, which she went and got later, to a friend who was in need of one. It is evident that by taking the time to be kind to others, that act of kindness can spread.

Sometimes the act of kindness does not have to be from a stranger. It can come from someone you recently met. Take Cheyenne Kester, a UWRF student, for instance. When her truck died over the weekend she needed some help getting it ready to go again. With every person that she knew gone for the weekend she was left calling someone she had just met the day before. The group of guys were nice enough to come and jump her truck and make sure she was all set.

“I had just met them, yet they were nice enough to take time out of their day to come and help,” Kester said.

That act of kindness lead Kester to want to return the favor. “My friend and I decided them to make them some food as a thank you for the kindness they showed me,” Kester said.
An act of kindness is something that can be very rewarding to not only the person who is on the receiving end, but on the giving end as well.

Another very rewarding way of spreading kindness is volunteering. Brooke Gestson, a freshman at UWRF, found one of the most rewarding experiences she has ever had was making tie blankets for firefighters to give to children whose houses had been involved in house fires. Geston claimed that it was an amazing experience to give back to her community and also hear about the results.

Taking time out of your day, whether it be five seconds or five minutes, to do something kind for someone can be the most rewarding feeling in the world. Take the time to enjoy what others do for you and embrace the unique world of college. Some of the most thoughtful actions can be happening right in front of you and all you need to do is take the time to look for them.

Kate Vruwink is from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. She loves playing and watching sports and plans on majoring in journalism with an ultimate goal to work for ESPN some day.