Getting Personal - The Best Way to Make a Big Campus Like IU Feel Small

There's a day, rather a moment, that's stuck with me for a long time now. 

On Valentine's Day, I sat in the SPEA library, eating my usual 11:00 pre-class snack, and then it hit me. Someone was walking towards me. I lowered my newspaper, wondering who in the world would be here that I would know. But I didn't know him. Nor did I recognize him in the least bit. "Good morning. I really like your bangs," he smiled. "Have a Happy Valentine's Day." And that was it. 

A lot of times, people ask me-- how do you make a big campus like IU feel smaller?

My best answer? Don't forget that you're human.

And don't forget that everyone else here is too. 

We all appreciate hugs, handshakes, "hellos", and eye contact. We like feeling welcomed, noticed, appreciated-- even just greeted. We like to remember that others are thinking of us.

On a campus where you can walk by 1,000 faces in day, making personal contact is so very important. You can drift through your whole time in this community without ever truly living in it. You can spend your days socializing in one dorm, one party, one class. You can have one group of friends. You can speak only when spoken to. Or you engage, reach out, and connect.

My challenge to you is this-- instead of quickly walking to your next class, stop staring at your phone, look up, and smile at someone. Hold a door. Ask a completely random person how their day is going. Tell someone they've got an awesome sense style. Pass on some good vibrations. You never know when you're going to make someone's day or make a new friend. 

You're looking very rested today! (my compliment to you all)

Have a good one,


About The Author
Kaylee DolenEnvironmental Management with Spanish and Latino Studies ~ Class of 2015

Jubilee College Ministries and First United Methodist Church, Amnesty International, Invisible Children, Global Village LLC

people person. tree hugger. activist. foodie. dinosaur. 

have a lovely day!