The global pandemic and extended quarantine has taken a great toll on many and made the return to school a daunting challenge for some individuals. Students’ mental health in particular has been greatly impacted by these last few years, making a caring and compassionate school community more important than ever.
However, random acts of kindness and maintaining a positive environment are helping make that transition less daunting. Students across the building share their own personal stories from when they have experienced or witnessed kindness in their return to Manual.
Kennedy Hampton (12, HSU) experienced that kindness when she went in for a yearbook interview and photo-op. She expressed that the kindness she received made her want to go and pass it on to others.
“When I did the interview, I of course had to take off my mask and then the person taking the photo complimented me and told me I was really pretty. It caught me off guard but it was so sweet of them,” Hampton said, “… this was really kind and truly made my day.”
Mia Schecter (11, MST) also felt first hand the warmheartedness Manual has to offer, after asking a taller girl passing by for help.
“Basically, I had to place my soccer bag on the hooks by the gym. However, I couldn’t actually reach the hooks because I was too short,” Schecter said, “She [the taller girl] gave me a big smile (although she had a mask on, I could tell she was smiling) and instantly agreed to help. Afterwards she even told me to have a nice day!”
The help of a fellow student showed Schecter how small acts of kindness can impact another person.
“I feel like it’s really easy to focus on the negative things, especially in this past year, so it really made me feel happy to know that there are still people who are kind in the world. Even though it was a small action, it made my day,” Schecter said.
Aleea Engle (12, HSU) saw students coming to the help of a teacher on the first day of school.
“I was pulling into school and saw a teacher struggling with having a lot of stuff and then I watch two students ask and help her get the huge amount of stuff in the building for her classes,” Engle said, “It made me feel happy, shock, and hope/realization that despite everything happening and that has happened, there are still people that will be willingly help other.”
The small things students do for one other have a large impact on everyone around them. The person experiencing the kindness can go on to show others the appreciation they’ve received. The same goes for those who see others spreading compassion, in turn prompting them to have a happier day and promoting a better sense of well-being.
The random acts of kindness around Manual have made this transition back to in-person easier for so many students, teachers and staff. A few random acts of kindness have inspired these students to go on and spread more.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”