It’s time for the giving season

Addison Smith | Opinions Editor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no, I am not discussing finals week. I’m talking about the holidays, when I can run around in an ugly Christmas sweater, enjoy candy canes and finally listen to Christmas music.

It’s also the time of year when people will look to give back through toy drives, food drives, monetary donations and other things college students can’t exactly afford. Unless you’re made of money and can afford to give back through goods, you’re probably wondering how you can contribute to those less fortunate this year. I have four words for you: random acts of kindness.

Yes, everyone encourages random acts of kindness over the holidays, but as a broke college student, they’re the best option for you to get into the holiday spirit.

Here are some easy and quick ideas for giving back this year without breaking your wallet.

1. Hold the door for someone.
Yes, it’s always awkward to determine just how far away a person is and if he or she is close enough for you to actually hold the door open. However, holding the door open is probably the easiest random act of kindness you can partake in this holiday season. So hold the door for someone, and if someone holds the door for you, say “thank you” or smile or something to acknowledge the door-holder.

2. Ask someone about his or her day or something.
Conversation is truly a dying art thanks to technology and people who stare at their phones all day. If the opportunity arises (don’t be the crazy person with nobody responding, I’ve been there, it’s as unfortunate as you would imagine), just talk to someone in the Starbucks or Options lines. Being nice never hurt anyone, at least to my knowledge.

3. Keep it positive on social media.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of negative comments, subtweets and the like on social media. Yes, people sometimes suck and social media is the best way to vent, but this holiday season, keep it positive. Tweet out quotations from Elf and The Santa Clause or a photo of a cat dressed in a Christmas sweater. Try your hardest to keep everything as upbeat as you can around this time of the year.

4. Knit a scarf, but only if you are capable.
Okay, maybe not a scarf, but sometimes the best gifts come from the heart. Draw someone a picture, make someone a homemade card or bake cookies. You get the idea, it’s easy to give to someone without spending. However, if you’re not the best baker, don’t try to make someone cookies. Confusing baking soda and baking powder is bad, and your friend will not enjoy those cookies. Give what you can actually make, don’t make your friends lie to your face about something atrocious.

5. Honestly, just be nice.
Look, it’s not rocket science, being a nice person is a cool thing. Honestly, one of the best moments is when someone recognizes that you’re a genuinely nice person. That is someone reaching out to you about how nice you have been to him or her. It’ll put a smile on your face when you see someone else smile because of something you did, or favorite one of your tweets about the holidays, or genuinely enjoy something you made. Just be a nice person and your holiday will go well. Actually, be a nice person and your life will go well.

On those five notes, happy holidays and good luck on finals. A positive attitude throughout these next couple of weeks will help you get through it. A smile is contagious, but so is negativity, so for the good of Duquesne, be positive.

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