On & Off Campus Blog

It's easy to brighten someone's day
It's easy to brighten someone's day
by Tess Holland '23

Although it is easy to get caught up in your own world during the busy and stressful school year, the ten seconds it takes to smile and say Good morning! while passing someone in the hall is so worth it. Trust me. I learned this lesson this summer at work when I was greeted with enthusiasm and sincerity by all ten of my coworkers every morning.

Since I was a child my parents would always wake me up with a hug or kiss, our family's way of greeting each other before beginning our day. In elementary school, we would start off our days by having Morning Meeting, a time when my classmates and I could play games, share exciting news, and be kind to each other before our day began. When I started getting older, however, the greetings I received at school became fewer and fewer. As a junior in high school now, a quick smile in the hall or a quiet hello is the most I'll get on a good day.

Now, I'm not here to blame BB&N students for not putting effort into how they greet each other each morning. I'm at fault here as well. Although BB&N is a caring and thoughtful community, I have observed that as we have progressed through high school, a morning greeting to each other has been forgotten. It's a simple gesture that can really make someone's day.

At work this summer, my coworkers and I made it a point to go out of our way to find everybody in the morning and check-in. It didn't take much time at all, and everyone started their day off on a better note. A generous smile, eye contact while talking, and using names, for instance--good morning, Tess!--is much more effective than you may think. Research has proven that good conversationalists behave in specific ways that benefit and add meaning to conversations, one mannerism being eye contact. According to the BBC, "we generally perceive people who make more eye contact to be more intelligent, more conscientious and sincere (in Western cultures, at least), and we become more inclined to believe what they say."

So, having experienced a community in which salutations are heavily emphasized, I can attest to the positive effect it had on me and my colleagues. To the person reading this, tomorrow morning when you walk into school, go out of your way to say good morning to people passing by, make eye contact with them, and smile at them, mask and all. "What goes around comes around" holds true in this scenario: if you act kindly and show you care even through the smallest of gestures, I can assure you that you will soon feel better, in fact significantly better, about yourself and the people around you.