The cup of holiday cheer has started to pour over USF. Thanksgiving has just passed and now the winter holidays are approaching. As I felt the droplets of cheer fall upon me, I realized something: there are so many things I have taken for granted. This epiphany is nothing new for most college students. Before college most of us depended solely on our parents. They washed our laundry, cooked our meals, and bought us every necessity from food to medicine to clothes to entertainment. They were our providers.
Now we’re on our own. For some of us, we’ve been on our own for years. For others, like me, this is our first year of independence. I’ve embraced it, yet I will be honest; I miss those years of apathy and lack of responsibility.
Going home for the holidays only reiterates my longing to be taken care of. I remember how thankful I am for our families and friends back home. However, my peers and I must not forget the people here. There are those who are looking after us on our very own campus: the cashiers, the cooks, the janitors, the resident advisors, and other students and faculty. We see them everywhere, but somehow we can’t utter a simple “thank you.”
Where did we even learn the importance of these two words? My mom taught me as soon as I could speak. Before going to anyone’s house or birthday party, she would say, “Remember to use your polite words.” I made an effort to remember, because as soon as I would come home the first question she would ask me was, “Did you use your polite words?”
Mom’s advice has paid off. “Thank you” has become second nature. At USF, though, giving thanks seems to be suppressed. More complaints about the caf’s food flood freshmen’s conversations than the appreciation we have for that nice lady who knows our order by heart, or the guy at the grill who gives us the extra fries so we don’t have to guiltily ask for more, or the sandwich line ladies who take our picky orders and make sure to leave off the tomato, mayo, and pickles. Plus, we have a board where you can voice your opinion about the food that the Bon Appétit staff actually listens to. Whoever wrote that they wanted hummus– they had that in Global three weeks ago! Even with the staff’s kindness, though, students continue to sneer and glare if an order is incorrect, takes too long, or doesn’t meet up to their ridiculously high standards. People, it’s a cafeteria, not a high-end restaurant or your mom’s kitchen!
Not only do people in Bon Appétit give one-hundred and two percent, but janitors also play a huge part in shaping our college experience: they keep the dorms clean after all. Many of us underestimate the work janitors have to undergo. Imagine a world, though, without janitors. Scary, huh? Since none of us would take on the duty to clean the bathroom, bacteria would grow rampant. Thus, we would get sick more than we do now. Heaven forbid, we would have to resort to cleaning up after ourselves. We would be forced to scrub our own toilets and scoop the hair out of the shower drains. By the way, you think we’re out of paper towels now?
With all of this in mind, does a “thanks” really take that much out of your time? I don’t think so. Please, the next time you feel the need to complain about members of the USF family, the backbone of this school, take the “polite words” route instead. You’ll be setting a good example as well as making your mom proud.
McKenna Taylor is a freshman media studies major.
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