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End-of-the-semester support is crucial for fellow students

By Colleen Young
On December 6, 2012


This is a very stressful time of year for college students, a time when many of us need to feel
Over the next two of weeks we'll all have finals, projects and papers due for almost every class.
This pressure could cause overwhelming anxiety for some students. While we may be tempted
to shut each other out and focus solely on our studies, I invite us all to lean on each other for
support in this hectic time.
One idea that I think would greatly benefit the Buffalo State community is the act of writing love
letters to each other. Students could find love letters, gain hope and realize we're all here going
through the same things together.
I got this idea from recently watching a TED Talk by Hannah Brencher, called "Love Letters to
During college, Brencher's mother would write her love letters. Brencher would wait by the
mailbox to hear how her family was doing.
After college, Brencher moved to New York City and was hit hard with depression, like many at
this age. She thought back to the letters that brought her so hope when she needed it most, and
she decided to help others by writing love letters for strangers who may be going through the
same things she was.
She left dozens of letters in cafes and libraries all around the city. She blogged about these letters
and promised her readers that if they asked her for a love letter, she'd write them one.
Brencher quickly realized that almost everyone could use a love letter. People from all over,
dealing with all sorts of heartbreak, were contacting her and asking for a love letter.
She was 22 and changing the world for the better, and has given the rest of us the opportunity to
do the same.
Brencher founded an international organization called "The World Needs More Love Letters,"
which allows caring strangers to write love letters to those who need them most, including
students like us.
She talked about out how special the signing, the scripting, the mailing and even the doodles in
the margins of love letters are. Brencher said the mere fact that someone would sit down, pull out
a piece of paper and think of someone else is an art form.
"We still clutch close these letters to our chest, to the words that speak louder than loud,"
Brencher said. "We turn pages into pallets to say the words we've needed to say, the words we
have needed to write, even to strangers, for far too long."
Brencher's idea truly spoke to me. Her TED talk gave me chills and filled my eyes with tears.
It's truly beautiful - the compassion people can have for each other.
I say while we're all worried about what we have to do for our classes, let's support each other.
Let's write love letters to each other, reaching out as friends and letting others know that we
understand and care.
Our generation can make such a profound impact on the world. We have all of the resources and
abilities right at our fingers to spread some hope and write love letters letting others know they
aren't alone.
This simple act of kindness could brighten someone's day, almost like a hug can comfort
someone in need.
We're about to leave each other for an entire month. Before we all part, let's show our fellow
Bengals how much we care. If you'd like a love letter, please let me know. I'd be happy to write
you one during this stressful time.
We all could use a little cheering up at this point in the semester, and I believe writing each other
supportive love letters would help.
Students can learn more about this organization and find more ideas on what to write at
Colleen Young can be reached by email at

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