Making it count in 2012

The time is upon us to make or break those New Year’s resolutions. Approximately two to three weeks into 2012, those healthy diets and hellish workouts will begin to dwindle as another year of good intentions lapsing into old routines begins.

As a society, we have the tendency to proclaim grand, and often unmanageable, resolutions at the start of each year instead of realistically working on a small flaw within ourselves. This endless pursuit of a fresh start isn’t unique to the new year; the start of every academic term brings a renewed vow to never be late to class, to keep organized notes and to actually read all of those pesky Blackboard articles.

While my desire to attempt to be a serious student isn’t the same as the sweeping reforms that come with numerous New Year’s resolutions, the desire to better ourselves is the same. Keeping this in mind, I would like to challenge the way we think about change and self improvement and would argue that for change to be positive, it does not need to be drastic.

The best example of making the small things count comes from a woman we all know and love: Rhonda from Egan Cafeteria. As evidenced by the numerous comment cards professing endless love for Rhonda (one of which called for a Rhonda ice sculpture in Egan), she is easily one of the most popular figures on campus.

Even though we interact with her for short periods of time each day — the amount of time it takes to swipe your student ID card — she has left quite an impression upon the student population dining in Egan.

The reason Rhonda brightens my day isn’t just that she always greets me with a smile, but that she takes the time to learn everyone’s name and hold a small, but personal conversation. Considering her time in Egan during lunch hours brings hundreds of students past her, she still takes that extra step and radiates kindness and personality for each one.

Rhonda takes an extra step that changes the entire nature of her interactions with students. Her kindness is evidence that it is the small things in life that count, and drastic measures are not needed to implement positive change.

The time for resolutions is upon us, and as tempted as I am to declare my New Year’s resolution to cut out coffee, ace all of my Russian tests and still survive junior year, I am going to make a slight change this year. This time, I am going to take notice of the lessons from Rhonda and work to make the small things count.