My number one pet peeve is when people don’t hold the door. I don’t mean that men need to chivalrous and hold the door for women they’re trying to impress, or that women need to do the same to prove they’re feminist as hell; I simply mean that everyone (read: everyone, as in including you, Mr. I Have Four Meetings in a Row and My Life is More Important Than Yours) must hold the door for everyone.
There are a few reasons why. Firstly, doors are heavy. Have you ever tried open the doors on the ground floor of Gannett? Those things are an arm workout in themselves. Most times, I (and my severe lack of upper body strength) am tempted to use the handicap button on the side that automatically opens the door for you, but it takes forever and everyone rolls their eyes at you for not (wo)manning up and just yanking the door handle.
Secondly, holding the door open for someone else is an excellent show of teamwork. In the few seconds you push the door back open for the person behind you — or, if you’re more committed, hold the door until they catch up — and it’s as if you’re acknowledging the collective struggle the two of you (and the rest of campus) is going through in that moment, even if the pair of you know nothing about each other. Go ahead, take the few extra seconds to hold the door, and show solidarity in struggling at Cornell.
Most importantly, however, holding the door for the person behind you is just the nice thing to do. It is respectful and kind and takes into account the lives of the people around you, rather than simply your own. Often times, we get a little too caught up in our busy lives on campus — between this meeting and that project team or this class and that group meeting — we forget that there is more going on beyond our schedules. The impression that because we are busy, we are above being kind to others is one that is easy to perpetuate, even if we do not realize we are doing so.
Therefore, in these coming weeks, through the stressful last few weeks of the semester and through the little food and even less sleep period of finals, let’s take the time to care for the people around us. Acing finals, wrapping up a great semester or ending your club tenure on a good note is a high that lasts only so long, and being successful does not exempt us from being kind. So grab an extra coffee for a friend, ask your barista how he or she is doing and hold the door for the person behind you — it’s just the right thing to do.
Hebani Duggal is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Teach Me How To Duggal appears every other Tuesday this semester.