As a college student, we often spend a lot of time in our own little bubbles, trying to get through the day. When that occurs, manners usually take the back burner. It may seem like something small, but once you pop that bubble, the results could actually be in your favor.
Here are a few tips on social etiquette that could benefit you and your reputation on your campus.
Hold the Door
It always amazes me the number of times that the person walking in front of me could allow the door to slam in my face because of their carelessness. The next time you're walking to class, hold the door for the person behind you. If and when that act of kindness is bestowed upon you, make sure to be polite. It doesn't hurt to say thank you or even smile.
Greet Your Professors
Your professors, whether you love them, hate them, or are indifferent, provide you with knowledge that the institution deems appropriate and beneficial. When the professor enters the room and says "Good Morning," "Good Afternoon" or "Good Evening," offer them the courtesy of at least saying it back. It won't cost you a thing and professors observe polite behavior like this.
Honor Your Commitments
Whether you commit to meeting a professor at their office hours or you make a commitment to do something for a club or organization, you must do it. If for some reason you cannot, communicate that. You do not want to be known as a person who does not follow through or a person who often lets people down. Be the type of person who keeps their word.
Now there is no dress code when it comes to college. You could wear your pajamas if you wanted and no one would correct you, but that may not be the option you want to go with. Always dress presentable. You want to establish positive grooming behaviors. You should always have fresh breath and smell appropriate. College is often stressful but remember to wash your clothes often and and wake up with enough time to throw on clean clothes and groom yourself.
Say "Thank You"
According to an article by Huffington Post, gratitude actually promotes good self-esteem. Something as simple as thanking the person who holds the door, or your professors and administrators for their time, can make their day and improve the way you feel about yourself. Consider this, if a professor or campus administrator goes out of their way to do something for you like give you a letter of recommendation, send them a thank you email or give them a thank you card.
Respect Campus Employees
Let's be clear. The same level of respect that you would give the President of the University is the same level of respect that you should give any campus employee. You should be respectful to the employees that cook for you and clean up after you. In all honesty, where would us college students be without them? Now whether or not you like the food is another story, but at least be grateful to those who spend their days making sure you have what you need.
Clean Up After Yourself
If Mommy and Daddy didn't teach you how to clean up after yourself, you're going to have to learn this one on your own. The cafeteria staff is not inclined to take your plates and cups to the trash and they certainly do not get paid enough to have to deal with your laziness and disrespect. Take your plate to the trash, grab some napkins, and wipe up your spills. It's really not that difficult.
Send Professional Emails
Last, but certainly not least, is to send emails that are professional. It does not matter if you are emailing a professor, university administrator, or even another student from your class. Always make sure that you proofread your emails, use the appropriate titles, and that you use the correct tone. If you build this habit correctly now, it will benefit you in the future when you have a career.
If you want to change your reputation on campus, you can start by doing these minor things. Having better social etiquette at your institution may be the thing you need to put you above the rest.