Anonymous notes of kindness find an appreciative audience

By Abigail Balderson

TERRIFYING. The first few weeks of a new semester can be considered exactly that for some college students. Everything can be different: new people, new classes, new places. But one act of kindness can make all of the difference.

Even something as simple as a sticky note.

An anonymous YCP student has been leaving small notes of encouragement on the mirrors in the Performing Arts girls restroom on the third floor of the Humanities building.

Sticky note on the mirror with the message: “You got this [heart drawing] it always gets better.” (Photo by Abigail Balderson)

Throughout the first three weeks of the semester these notes have been seen on that restroom’s mirrors. and it doesn’t appear to be happening anywhere else on campus.

This small gesture might seem silly to some but to students such as Madaline Long, a freshman at York College, it’s a much-appreciated one..

“The fact that someone took time out of their probably busy schedule is so sweet and kind,” Long says, “and it makes me feel like there are people out there who just want the best for others.”

Adds Monica Garin, “It doesn’t take a lot to be kind, but most people seem to be too invested in the things going on in their own lives to make the jump and try to brighten up someone else’s day.”

She went on to make a point that “it’s definitely needed for people who have to adjust to being on campus and being back in school.”

A note with the message: ‘You have a beautiful smile’ with a drawing of a heart and a smiley face. (Photo by Abigail Balderson)

The notes feature a variety of messages written on them.

Some of the notes compliment whoever reads them while others go a little deeper, providing more encouraging messages. During the first week of classes one note read “The first week is always scary, you’re doing great!” Another read. “I’m rooting for you. You got this.”

One note was posted on the inside of a stall door and another student wrote back on the note, thanking whoever put it up.

This poses the question, who is writing these messages?

After much investigation it seems as though the student wishes to remain a mystery. And, honestly, this notion doesn’t seem to bother students.

“I think the anonymous aspect gives it more power as we don’t know who put it there and that could be anyone, which for me gives hope again that there are simply good doers out there.” Long says.

Sticky note with the message: ‘Everything will work out give it time.’ In the bottom right-hand corner, a response from another writer that reads, ‘Thank you xoxo.’ (Photo by Abigail Balderson)

Says Garin, “Being anonymous is pretty cool.” Whoever posted the notes could have claimed credit but chose not to. “They probably don’t care about anything other than knowing that at least one person is taking the time to read their notes,” she adds.

Garin is a sophomore at York College this semester and says she “hasn’t seen [the sticky notes] anywhere else before” but hopes to. She goes on to say that “seeing more positivity in general would be amazing. Maybe just more places that can be seen by anyone.”

For now, the sticky notes continue to appear in the girls bathroom and serve as a friendly reminder to students to stay positive.

Abigail Balderson is a sophomore majoring in Literary and Textual Studies.

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