Three months into your wonderful stay at the University of Arkansas and everything’s gone as well as could be. You’ve got enough pens, pencils, and notebooks stocked up to last you until your Master’s degree, and your mother (thoughtfully) placed an extra package of batteries in your duffle bag without you knowing.
But no one’s perfect. Things get left behind that you, and your floor-mates, couldn’t possibly have anticipated needing so much. Yes, this is the point in the semester where you hear door knocks around the clock from people starting sentences that all begin the same, “Hey bro, do you have any…”
Coco-butter,protein powder, lint-rollers, plastic forks, scissors, red solo cups; the list goes on. Having any of these items at the right place and time can make you a life-time companion. No kidding.
Often times, when we go on a trip or are visiting a place far from home, we only think of ourselves and our own personal needs. It can be tempting to have a hoarding mindset and say things like “Well, they should have thought ahead” or “tough luck”. But these are things you would never say on a vacation with your family to your brother or sister if they needed something.
You’re in a weird place in your life. You’re not entirely dependent, but you’re not independent either. You live communally, and hopefully you have the foresight to anticipate that you might need something from your peers in the future. Things happen. Toothbrushes get dropped in the shower, scissors get lost, and fingernails need clipping. Don’t be afraid to share the love around.
However, there’s a huge difference between someone unluckily running out of something and seeking a little aide every once in a while, and them relying solely on you to fulfill their needs. For example, I have no problem giving out two scoops of protein powder to someone who just ran out and is waiting for their next order to come in, but if they think that I’m going to fund their gains for more than a couple a days; then they should have invested in Amazon Prime. It’s good to help people, but it’s even better to have boundaries. The last time I checked, the UA wasn’t a seminary.
Always remember, you are nobody’s Wal-Mart or neighborhood pharmacy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be someone’s Salvation Army from time to time.
David Wilson is a sophmore Finance major and the Opinion editor of the Traveler. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.