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Bridgewater State Compliments, long operated by a mystery student, has a legacy of fostering positivity. The one BSU social media trend that refuses to fade away, the Compliments Facebook page is a place where students and staff can show their appreciation for the people that play the role of the quiet hero and friend in Bears’ everyday lives.

Here are some of those everyday heroes:

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The page also regularly shares feel-good, inspiring quotes. Students have started sharing any acts of love that make BSU a positive community, such as this random act of kindness:

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On April 8th, we finally found out who operates Bridgewater State Compliments. Behind the curtain is Andrew Larson, a well-spoken sociology major with an intrinsic drive to make the world a better place (his LinkedIn reads like a never-ending list of good deeds). andrewBetween his volunteer work and graduation being a few weeks away, we were lucky to catch up with Andrew and ask him some questions at the end of his time as curator of Bridgewater State Compliments.

Me: “What made you start the compliments page?”

Andrew: “I actually saw one of my friends post something about a similar page at one of their universities which was inspired by a project at Queens University in Canada. I thought it was such a great idea and I decided to bring it to BSU. At the time, there were some pages like BSU Crushes that spread a lot of negativity, so I figured BSU could use some love and positivity instead.

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Me: “What did you hope would come of this project?”

Andrew: “Honestly when I first started it, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. What did happen though was so much more than I could have ever hoped for. It was great to see the positive feedback that it was getting and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to facilitate such an inspiring project. I guess I just wanted to help spread a little love, kindness, and compassion to the community.”

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Me: “Do you have a favorite post to read?”

Andrew: “Honestly, I love reading every single message. It was just really great to see that so many people were willing to send anonymous compliments to their friends and it showed how loving and compassionate the BSU community really is. It was inspiring to read every message.”

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I agree with Andrew that his compliments page is inspiring and just may be one of the most friendly, community-building pages to come out of Facebook. Keep the positivity alive and send some appreciation to those who have touched your life at BSU.

Have you ever received a compliment on Bridgewater State Compliments?  Have you ever submitted a compliment?

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Networking is all about social skills, how you interact with others, and that pretty much leaves awkward people out in the cold (cue “Let It Go” getting stuck in my head for the sixth time this week). If schmoozing isn’t your thing, I have some tips to help you out:

1. Just don’t say it: boring4Telling your boss at a company event that the dress she’s wearing makes her rack look fantastic is NOT a good idea. Sure, she might be happy to hear that she’s still “got it,” but really, that’s going to get you a nice visit to HR. Basically, keep it appropriate. Dead baby jokes are a big no. Stay away from politics. No “yo mama” jokes ever. And, oh my God, do not insult their children.

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2. Don’t be negative: This is going to sound paranoid, but be careful what you’re negative about. One time in class we were going around the room saying what pets we had. I declared that having two guinea pigs was a bit embarrassing because I wasn’t 9 years old. Turns out my professor has 14 of them! boring3Awesome! So unless you know they also hate war, crocheting, and the creep who works in IT, keep your mouth closed.

3. Start with a 5K: You’re not ready for a full marathon just yet. If you’re not experienced in networking, keep it small to begin with. No lunches, no long-winded emails, no one-hour business talks. Short emails that simply establish a connection and don’t ask for favors right away are how you want to start out. boring2Begin with networking online, through LinkedIn and Twitter, which is much easier than in-person networking. Take your time to observe how it’s done before you send your 5,000 business cards to the printer.

4. Don’t fear the silent abyss: If you’re an introvert, reshape yourself into a good listener. Ask questions to keep the conversation flowing, say “right, yeah, mmhm,” but mostly kick back – mentally – and let the other person do the talking. boring6To avoid looking bored, counteract your quietness with a smile to show that you’re enjoying the interaction and don’t feel as if you’ve been trapped in a convo with a blowhard.

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It’s not so bad once you get the hang of it.  Just keep going and know that you’ll look back on these experiences when you’re the CEO of a multibillion dollar company and you’ll laugh.

Do you have any memorable networking experiences?  What are your networking tips?

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This year’s Springfest theme is LEGO. There are a lot of terrific events going on this week, which are the perfect distraction from thoughts of ominous finals and a rapidly-approaching graduation!

Here are 5 activities you do NOT want to miss out on:

Sunday 4/20:

Week-long Instagram Challenge kick-off

Tag @PCBSU and #bsuspringfest2014

 

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Get your smartphones ready and your selfie face on. Flex dollars are scarce nowadays! Take the most creative picture at a Springfest event. The winner will be announced on April 25th at 10pm on Program Committee Social Media. Grand prize: $25 flex dollars.  If I win, I’m definitely using the prize to buy some Lilly Pulitzer goodies from the bookstore.

Monday 4/21:

Carnival: 4-8 PM in Moakley Lot

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At last year’s carnival I got to know my future roommates, got a super cute Springfest t-shirt, ate way too much cotton candy, and got to go on the SWINGS.  This year it is also featuring a mini-involvement fair.

Tuesday 4/22:

Drive-in movie night: The Lego Movie, 8-10:30 PM in the RCC fountain area

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This is another classic event! And of course, the featured film is The Lego Movie! Bring your blankets, pillows, and some friends and get ready for FREE movie candy and FREE food.

Thursday 4/24:

Comedy Central at BSU: 8-10 PM in Tinsley Center

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This year three comedians are coming our way: Judah Friedlander, Nikki Glasser, and Kevin Barnette!

You must enter with a valid BSU ID, and guests 18+ are permitted!

Saturday 4/26:

New York City Trip: departs at 6 PM from the RCC

$20 tickets in OSIL

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Hopefully you’ve gotten your tickets because there will only be 2 buses for this trip! The bus will be leaving BSU at 6 AM and returning around 11 PM. Even though it’s a long day, there is nothing better than New York City in the spring!

Of course, these are all the classics, but there are a lot of super fun new events this year too! Want to see what you would look like as a Lego? Go get your Lego Caricature! Love a good grilled cheese? There’s a grilled cheese truck at the Clocktower on Tuesday night!

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Which event are you looking forward to the most? What are your favorite Springfest memories?

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