I once heard it said that “Sticks and stones can break bones, but words can change a heart.” My grade school principal would often times say this during morning announcements, instilling in us the ideal of gossiping and teasing can be hurtful to classmates during our school days.
Well, the days of listening to those school announcements are long gone, but that saying still rings true in many ways for me. I have held this saying in my heart for the last four years in particular through a collection of letters, notes, pictures, and written thoughts that I have accumulated over the course of my 4 years at college.
It all started when my sorority gave me letters on my initiation as a full-fledged member. We were asked to decorate a box so our sisters could have a place to put thoughtful notes, encouraging us on our special day. The day I brought that box home, I decided to maintain this idea of keeping all the letters that have been written to me until my graduation. That means any written thought someone has given me, whether it was a birthday card, a formal letter of congratulations on being accepted into an organization, or just a simple sticky note found on my dresser, I have kept them all. I made a vow to myself that I would not look through them until the day I had my own apartment after graduation, where I could cuddle up with a warm cup of tea and a tissue box by my side and read through all the meaningful things people have written.
During my college career, I kept this box in my closet or at my desk where I studied. When I had a rough day or wasn’t feeling self-confident, I would look to the box and smile, knowing that those words were still present in the hearts of those who had written them. At one point during my junior year, I had to recruit another box in order to hold the ever growing number of letters and kind words.
Why have I kept them all these years? Because I know I will need them when the thoughts of failure, unworthiness, self-denial, disbelief, and sometimes even despair may creep into my mind. We all have those days…..and that is when we need kind words the most.
During my time at K-State, I have been surrounded by an amazing community of believers…..believers in myself and all that I can accomplish, even if I didn’t believe it myself. As students here, no one tells you to go out of your way to spend kind words. It is expected.
My days are numbered here and I can’t tell you how proud I am to have spent my formative years here. I will miss K-State immensely and don’t know where the time went. I am slowly packing up my things, but the letters are still visible so as the day of graduation approaches, I can look to them knowing that the support of family, friends, and K-State community is what got me to where and I am……….and where I am going.
Whenever you receive words of encouragement, cherish them. A compliment is the most priceless gift you will ever receive.
This is my last blog post as a student here at K-State. As I sign off, know that it has been one of my favorite things to do on behalf of this outstanding university. Thank you for letting me share my words with you. Reading my blogs is one of the best compliments you can give me 🙂
Hail, hail alma mater!!