Spreading the Awesome, One Post at a Time

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As students get back into the swing of things with the start of a new semester and the stress that might come with it, one group is doing their best to remind us all of the positive.

Community of Awesome Xicheng Zhou, Ruby Smith, Erin O’Connell, and Ian Lesnick. Missing from the picture, Savannah Votino.

Community of Awesome: Xicheng Zhou, Ruby Smith, Erin O’Connell, and Ian Lesnick (missing from the picture, Savannah Votino)

The Community of Awesome is a group of students including Erin O’Connell, Ruby Smith, Xicheng Zhou, Savannah Votino and Ian Lesnick. The group meets biweekly on Wednesdays at 9 am. Together with their faculty sponsors, they discuss ways that they can remind the campus community of the positive things around them — whether it be something beautiful or an act of kindness — and how they can spread positive vibes themselves.  

“I think a lot of times people focus on negative things, what’s not going right and what’s not super great,” Ruby Smith ‘19 said. “I think our group of people are very positive about the campus and how many awesome, cool things that are brought to our school that aren’t brought to others. We are great, let’s focus on happiness and positivity rather than negative things.”

The group is a revival of a past movement by the same name that faded as students graduated and it lost support. Back and better than ever now, the group shares positive aspects of campus life through their official Facebook and Instagram pages as part of their positivity initiative, as well as on their blog.

“I always use the hashtag #spreadtheawesome on all of our social media posts because that’s really what we’re trying to do,” Erin O’Connell ’19 said. “We’re trying to showcase all of the events that happen on campus that really celebrate who we are and our diverse community and the super awesome people that go here.”

Some of the things they’ve highlighted about campus life include a Starbucks cup with a message, “Camille, hope classes are going really well <3,” from a barista wishing a student well, and blue rocks they noticed around campus with positive messages like, “You matter.”

“I know that life as a students is busy — we have different club involvements, we have to focus on grades, getting a job — but we should also take a break between our studying and work to appreciate the everyday moments,” Xicheng Zhou ‘19 said.

They are always planning different ways to bring positivity to students — last semester, they waited outside of different lecture halls and gave out candy as other students took their final exams.

“Being able to put a smile on someone’s face minutes before an exam is an accomplishment in itself,” O’Connell said. “I heard a few people say how sweet we were, and a bunch thanked us for our kindness. Even though some students were confused about who we were and what we were doing, it was an overall great opportunity to brighten up someone’s day and make their finals experience a little less gloomy.”

You can check out some of the awesome things that the Community of Awesome is sharing on their social media.

The group takes submissions from students, all you have to do is snap the pic to save the moment!

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