A kind and unexpected surprise in Post-it form

Dear mystery Post-it poster,

Thank you.

Thank you for putting bright, orange Post-it notes in Lincoln Hall last week. It was something simple, something new and something out of the ordinary.

Walking into Lincoln Hall at 9 a.m. last Wednesday, it was just another early, rainy morning. I rushed down the hall to make it to world religions lecture on time when I noticed your Post-it out of the corner of my eye.

You left one on the vending machine next to the entrance by the bike racks between Gregory Hall and Lincoln Hall. That was the first clue of your deeds.

The note read, “Can you file a work incident report because I just fell for you.”

I was confused. Before I finished reading that sentence, I thought it was some lazy, thoughtless person leaving a note for Facilities and Services staff to fix a broken vending machine. Then, I thought it was a silly pick-up line left as a joke.

I walked down the hall and spotted another note, making me late for class. This time, you left your note on the glass part of the fire extinguisher case to the left of the stairwell leading to the main auditorium.

This note read, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

That’s when I solved the mystery. This was not a prank or a person complaining via Post-it notes. It was not a tacky break up, like when Berger broke up with Carrie via a Post-it on “Sex and the City.” No, it was something simple, new and out of the ordinary.

It got me thinking. Someone took time out of his or her day to write these notes and then post them in Lincoln Hall. Perhaps there are more notes in Lincoln Hall or other locations that I missed, but the message is the same: a random act of kindness.

I am not sure of your intent, but for me, it made my day a little bit brighter. Thank you.

So, why did you leave the Post-it notes in Lincoln Hall? It is a sweet, kind gesture, but it seems out of the blue.

Perhaps you are a bully, so “The Drifter” turned you into a dog as punishment like on Nickelodeon’s “100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd.” Maybe the Post-it notes acted as one of the good deeds that you needed to perform to turn back into a human. 

Logically, that seems less likely than one stranger committing a random act of kindness for another stranger.

Maybe you were inspired by Kevin Spacey’s role in the movie “Pay it Forward.” You just wanted to do something nice for someone else, hoping others would pay it forward to another stranger. That means we should have a rainbow of Post-it notes across campus in the coming weeks.

Perhaps you wanted to be like the men of MTV’s “The Buried Life.” The four guys went on the road to break away from the tedious routine of life. They made a bucket list of 100 things they wanted to do before they died, and helped others achieve their goals, always asking, “What do you want to do before you die?”

It is an intriguing question, and I think it fits well with the poem “The Buried Life” crew based their name on, written by Matthew Arnold:

“But often, in the world’s most crowded streets / But often, in the din of strife / There rises an unspeakable desire / After the knowledge of our buried life.” 

Whatever your reason, there was an effect. It made a person take a break from their scheduled, busy life. It caused a person to look at something out of the ordinary. It forced them to stop and reflect. That person was me, and I’m certain that there are many other students who had the same experience.

Every day, students go to class, work, internships, extracurricular activities and seemingly millions of other events on campus. It becomes a routine where students feel overloaded with debt, coursework and preparations for creating a successful future. 

There is a lot of pressure. Sometimes, the light at the end of the tunnel, also known as graduation, gets foggy and bogged down by daily stressors.

It was a fantastic surprise. Perhaps it should not be a surprise, but rather become part of the daily routine as a break from reality to remind students why they went to college in the first place: to experience life.

Thank you, mystery Post-it poster, for being a pleasant surprise in an otherwise mundane day.

Hope to see your notes around again,

Columnist excited by things out of the ordinary.

Rebecca is a junior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]