One of the many life lessons that my mother tried to instill in me is that it’s never too late to say three things: “thank you,” “I’m sorry,” and “I love you.” While I have my reservations about the latter two, my belief in the first has only strengthened with time. “Thank you” is an essential phrase in our day-to-day lives. We mutter it at people when they hold the door open for us, when they compliment our new haircut, when they write letters of recommendation for us at the absolute last minute. And that’s just it; we mutter it. “Thank you” being one of my favorite phrases in the English language, I think we should shout it, or at least say it with our head held high.
“Thank you” is about acknowledging the people who have made our lives better and letting them know that we appreciate it. As a declaration, then, shouldn’t it be loud? Shouldn’t we be proud to say thank you? Now, I’m obviously not going to advocate shouting every time someone holds a door an extra three seconds for you, but I do think that we as a school could afford to slow down and show our gratitude a little more often. We all depend on each other here, so when somebody helps somebody else out, it’s practically expected. Helping each other is the norm at IMSA, and that’s awesome, but it’s also good to take a moment to appreciate that. When we acknowledge what a person has done for us, we are not only expressing our gratitude but also encouraging general nice-ness in the world. This sounds so naïve, I know, but when we say thank you to one person, we’re telling them that they did something good, and this makes it ever-so-slightly more likely that they’ll do something like it again. So really, by thanking others we’re helping ourselves too.
We are high school students attending a state-funded boarding school dedicated to challenging us and furthering our education in what is (purportedly) our passion. I know that most of us are grateful for this, but it’s not something I hear about a lot. We are surrounded not only by our hyper-intelligent peers and friends but also by incredibly supportive adults who work to help make our dreams a reality. Yes, they’re getting paid (not enough), but that still isn’t easy. So yes, be grateful for IMSA and the people who help make it our daily reality. In fact, do more than just be grateful: show your gratitude and say thank you. Say it to the Sodexo workers, to the teachers, to the peer tutor who stays up late to help you with your problem set. Say it loud and proud because, like always, you really mean it.
Thanks for reading.