Students send uplifting handwritten notes to encourage their peers who may need support
Over 100 colorful letters surrounded Campus Cursive’s co-president and junior public administration major Gwyneth Harrick’s desk as she spoke about the organization that brings back the art of handwritten notes, and spreads a little kindness in the process.
NMU’s Campus Cursive has been around since fall 2015 and has sent over 150 letters to students around NMU who may need an extra lift during a hard time, or just a reminder that they are doing great despite what life has thrown at them.
“The purpose of Campus Cursive is to spread love and inclusion and sentiments of positivity on campus,” said Harrick. “We want to uplift our fellow students.”
Campus Cursive is a chapter of More Love Letters, a nonprofit global organization uses the power behind social media to write and mail letters to strangers all over the world, according to the organization’s website.
So far, Campus Cursive has posted small notes around campus in study areas, on water fountains, on mirrors and in other small places where people can find them, said recent graduate Michaela McLeod, a double major in math and computer science and co-president of the organization.
Compared to other clubs that are geared more toward collecting volunteer hours, Campus Cursive instead focuses on the people it affects, Harrick said.
“Our club is purely [doing]nice things for other people. We don’t seek any kind of self-serving recognition,” Harrick said.
Harrick and McLeod got involved in Campus Cursive in the beginning of the semester with little experience, but wanted to make the group more of their own, McLeod said. In the beginning, they talked about different ideas that they had, which evolved into them holding booths for students passing by to write on Post-It notes. After the booths, they refocused and started writing letters themselves and sending them to those in need, McLeod said. Although they are writing private letters, Campus Cursive can still be caught at the booth in Jamrich.
“At the booths, when people actually stop and find out what we’re doing, they always seem encouraged themselves, and always seem super happy to write the note themselves, which is great,” McLeod said. “I understand, because when you write the letters to people, it just makes you feel good. It’s gratifying. You’re making their day, but also making your day.”
During meetings, group members do “roses” and “thorns,” representing the bests and worsts of their week, and subsequently talk about future projects and who might be a good candidate for a letter. They then sit down and write individual letters to a person who needs a little inspiration.
“If [students] are having a rough day, this is a little something that will make them smile,” said McLeod.
Choosing a student to write to is a collaborative effort, but these letters are written in silence as the group members put their quiet energy into writing inspiring and personal letters to those who need support. Every letter is written on pen and paper—a manner that is becoming more endangered every day. Members are encouraged to be creative through using their own artistic handwriting and are also encouraged take their time, Harrick said.
“If you feel like three sentences will suffice, that’s fine. If you want to write a bundle of really meaningful letters, that’s also fine, it just depends on the situation,” Harrick said. “We don’t quantify our approach to letter writing.”
Not only is it beneficial for those who receive the letter, but students who participate in Campus Cursive get time to relax and think about someone other than themselves, Harrick said.
“I really appreciate taking the time to sit down and write a handwritten letter to someone,” Harrick said. “It’s meaningful to me because I’m constantly running around and worried about my own work or school or relationships, and I guess I just appreciate being able to focus on this one meaningful task.”
Campus Cursive meets Mondays at 8 p.m. outside of Jamrich room 1100.