Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

For today's post I wanted to discuss one of my first "significant" memories I had at Loyola. As a fresh college student, I became quickly aware that I was on my own when it came to dealing with financial aid. It must have been late on a Friday evening because the Bursar Office was closed, as well as the Financial Aid hub. I was hoping to get some answers about the late payment fee and the potential block on my student account and was quite disappointed when I realized I came to the office too late to be helped. I must have had this look of utmost confusion and misery (or the tattoo "FRESHMAN" plastered across my forehead) because one of the Jesuits stopped me and asked me if I needed help. He listened to my story and told me he could likely help me out. A minute after sending an email via his blackberry, I was told that my late payment fee was lifted and that my account would be active again. I was so relieved and quite surprised at how the situation was fixed that I thanked him sincerely and quickly left. It has been three and a half years and to this day I still remember his face, who he is, and his random act of kindness. His action helped mold my opinion of our school.
Is this story starting to get overly sentimental? Perhaps. My point is that many people will value their first college party to be one of the most significant moments of their college experience, or the first time they met their Freshman roommates. And while I find these memories quite significant, none of them seem to supersede this one. I find beauty in the notion that my most special memory of college had nothing to do with some of the standard freshman experiences, but about the generosity of others who expect nothing in return for their actions, and how this simple memory has stayed with me for years. I have yet to thank this individual again after that day, but I will be sending him an email very soon.

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