Show some Southern hospitality

Erinn Williams

Erinn Williams

As students we spend most of our time focused on what we want. We have a tendency to be self-centered.

I want my GPA to be higher. I want a degree. I want my class to be cancelled because of snow. I want the library to be less crowded. I want “Scandal” to come back on. I want my refund check to come in. I want. I want. I want.

But let me fill you in on a little secret that not many people know. Your wants and needs are not the center of the universe.

There are over seven billion people in the world who are working hard just like you are to stay alive.

They have the same 24 hours that you do. They are overworked, stressed out, tired, bored, hungry, and just like you they are searching for that one thing to let them know that life is bearable.

You can be that one thing.

I know how important it is to treat people kindly. I know how big of a role our interactions with others can play in their lives. I’m from a small town in Georgia so I know a thing or two about Southern hospitality.

This is not the part where I tell you to go around saying “ma’am” and “sir” and to invite strangers into your house for a cup of sweet tea or a mint julep.

This is when I tell you to be courteous to others and to think of someone other than yourself for once in your life. You don’t know what everyone around you is going through. You never know how much a warm smile can play in someone’s life or even just acknowledging someone’s existence.

When the bus driver says, “have a nice day” as they drop you off at Forest Drive say “thank you, you too.” Stop going off at the girl at Chick-fil-a for getting your order wrong. She’s been up all night studying for a test. Cut her some slack. Move your backpack out of the seat and let that girl who is holding 20 different things in her hands sit down on the bus.

This might be new to you but your professors are actually human beings. It might be nice to pay them a little respect. And maybe, just maybe, use that magic phrase, “excuse me,” when you need to get from place to place.

These are just little things that you can do to make someone else’s day just a little bit better. So stop pretending that life is all about you and show people that Georgia Southern hospitality.