College is sometimes a ruthless environment. As midterms approach, it’s at its peak, the library full of hopeless, fearmongering faces lost behind their laptops and textbooks. You could tackle your midterm (and not to mention winter) blues with exercise, fruits and vegetables and a solid eight hours sleep—and they all do help—but this year, take a page from Random Acts of Kindness Week. Pay it forward on campus and remind yourself, amid the impending deadlines, the world isn’t an (entirely) dreadful place.
Visit your professor during office hours
They may not have write the midterms and eventual exams, but they do have to mark them. Don’t assume the school term is all sunshine and roses for profs, TAs and seasonal lecturers alike. Everyone’s in the lurch. Traditionally (although admittedly not always) office hours are underutilized. So surprise one or more of your instructors and schedule an appointment. Go in prepared, having read the course materials and considered questions about them or assignments beforehand. If possible—depending on the nature of your instructor—even engage in friendly conversation. Take the time to show an interest and recognize their efforts.
Surprise your classmate with coffee
Hey, remember that dude who sat beside you all term? Maybe you even collaborated on a group project together? They may not be your best friend, but assuming they aren’t a total jerk, why not finally acknowledge their presence. As part of your own Boost pre-class mobile order, pick up a treat for your classmate. During the height of term, too often we forget about or take for granted those around us. Our struggle is never singular despite how we often let ourselves believe it is.
Write a thank you card
As much as everyone enjoys hating on college life, it’s not entirely terrible, right? Instead of scrolling through Facebook as a study break, reflect on a person or on-campus service who makes the undergraduate experience more bearable. Sticking to the pay-it-forward approach, they need not have directly impacted your experience, but hopefully you’ve at least witnessed their kindness. Use your reflection to write them a thank you card. It’s a small gesture that stands out in our virtually-driven world.
Look out for volunteer opportunities
It’s not too late in the term to seek out a volunteer opportunity on-campus (or at least get the ball rolling on a future one). While it could be something more long-term, universities often advertise one- or two-day volunteer gigs in the larger community. And even if yours doesn’t, student services should have the resources to help you find such short stints. Choose something that interests you. It may even lead to something long-term or employment. If you don’t really care about it, chances are you won’t follow through. Volunteering is about commitment, not a line on your resume.