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Three Simple Acts of Appreciation

By: Marvelouse Guerrier

As students, it’s important to express our appreciation for the people that maintain our beautiful campus and make it what it is. Of course we are thankful to our professors, administrators, and teaching assistants,  but let’s also show our appreciation for the people who keep the foundation of the university together. Our VEX drivers make sure we get from campus to campus, our house staff makes sure our residence halls are clean, and food staff makes sure that we have meals right on campus. This is a call-to-action to every single student to show GW staff appreciation in every interaction. Don’t be intimidated! It is very easy to show your gratitude and you can follow the advice in this article for some tips and advice on how to incorporate acts of gratitude into your daily schedule. Here are three ways you can show your appreciation every day.

Stop and Say “Thank You!”

Believe it or not, many people don’t say thank you to staff members on campus. Perhaps it is because they forget to do so as they’re rushing to class or meetings or because they’re scared. Regardless, taking a moment to say ‘thank you’; it will bring a smile to their face and yours. I promise you just a simple thank you will make their day brighter and their job worth it. It may even lead to a conversation in the future.

Have a Conversation

I have made it my personal mission to get to know the woman who cleans my floor. Every time we see each other we talk for about 5-10 minutes. As a result of this connection, we have become great friends and often swap stories about our lives. After our conversations, I am happy to say that I feel fulfilled because I am a member of the GW community and get to engage in a conversation with someone who plays a major role on campus. In addition, I am thrilled to expand my horizons and converse with staff that I would otherwise not have met or interacted with.

I understand that your approach may be different than mine but a “hello” and a “how are you?” will make them feel very much appreciated and builds community. It helps to make your experience on campus better by forging positive relationships with those around you. You never know how much you have in common with others until you extend a conversation. We are all part of a community.

A Note

So you’re not one for  conversation? Well that’s okay! Take a moment out of your day to write a nice thank you letter to a staff member (e.g. Vex drivers, house staff, grounds person) that has made a difference in your life. In doing this, they will forever remember you as the student who—in the midst of all the hustle and bustle—wrote them a letter of appreciation. This physical letter will be more heartwarming than an email could ever be and it will put a smile  on their face.

After giving you three ideas on how to show your appreciation, I challenge you to find even more ways you can express gratitude. Let’s continue to add to the bright and united community here at GW by showing our appreciation for our staff members. I, myself, have accepted the challenge and will do my best to show my gratitude to the the people that serve our campus each and everyday. I hope you’ll accept my challenge as well to create an uplifting environment at GW. You won’t regret it, I promise!


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