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EDITORIAL: Appreciation for those everyday inspirers



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One of the most inspirational things one can hear is the phrase "you inspire me." 

There are so many people in our everyday lives without whom we would be lost. Often we take these people and what they do for granted, but this should not be the case. Taking a mere moment to speak up and give thanks to those who inspire you in your everyday life, be it a friend, family member or a great professor, has the potential to illuminate his or her day and provide different outlooks on life.  

Studies have shown that emotional states can be transferred through a phenomenon called emotional contagion. So, to start the conversation, six of our columnists found people in their everyday lives who inspire them and to whom they would like to give thanks. We encourage everyone to follow their lead.


Jaclyn Ferguson

Jaclyn Ferguson is inspired by her sister Natalie. Anne Anderson Buy Photos

Growing up, a hero to me was often someone I had no real connection to. But when people are young with a mind full of wonder, they often ignore the fact that the real heroes can be those closest to you, or in my case, right down the hall. 

My sister Natalie is a senior here at IU and is one of the strongest people I know. She is a social work major, and following career aspirations has caused her to deal with intense situations that I could not begin to imagine. 

She was an intern for Project Transformation last summer, which is a nonprofit that focuses on serving underrepresented students while living in their community. Her location was in southeast, Washington D.C., which is notorious for its high crime rate and violence.

Consoling young children who have witnessed violence to such a high degree takes a special kind of person. The strength and grace she has possessed while dealing with unfortunate situations inspires me to handle my struggles in a similar way. I am so thankful to have a sister and best friend who exemplifies a fearless resilience no matter what situation she is placed in. 


Rachel Noll

Rachel Noll is inspired by her friend Cooper Weingartner. Anne Anderson Buy Photos

Because of my friend Cooper Weingartner, I notice the little things about how people treat each other. In the short time I have known him, I have learned from him that it’s all about being the type of person who goes out of his or her way to sit next to someone who’s sitting alone.

Because of him, I strive to be that inclusive, kind person who always notices the small things that make people feel loved. He makes me want to be the person that anyone can go to for any kind of problem, no matter how small.

There’s never been a question he couldn’t answer, and if he didn’t have the answer, he’d find a way to make sure people get the information you need. He inspires me to be ambitious, organized and a better person.

On top of it all, he is funny without ever being mean. He is one of the most outgoing people I have ever met and is unapologetically himself, something I wake up every day and strive to be. Although I haven’t known him for long, he will forever be one of my favorite people I’ve met at IU. 


Aditya Giridhar

Aditya Giridhar is inspired by his roommates. Anne Anderson Buy Photos

Out of all the 40,000 people on the IU campus, the people that inspire me the most are my three roommates. 

It doesn’t matter where you are from; if you’re a local or from a country an ocean away from Bloomington, you need a family. And you’re friends are your family away from home. Living with three other adults teaches you a lot about life, how to share a living space and how to be a considerate person, but the most important thing that I’ve learned from my roommates is that we all have our goals in life to be the best we can. 

While we may bicker about whether Lebron James or Michael Jordan is the greatest of basketball; we help each other with finding internships, remind each other of quizzes that are due in half an hour and proofread each others papers. 

While people may be inspired by the achievements cultural icons, heroes , it’s the little things that matter the most. I don’t know how I could go through college for three years without these guys. 


Emily Shaffer

Emily Shaffer is inspired by her friend Lauren Meadows. Anne Anderson Buy Photos

Throughout college, I’ve had the great privilege of knowing a handful of genuinely kind and unbelievably intelligent people. Of those people, my friend Lauren Meadows stands out as a constant source of inspiration to me. 

I first met Lauren a couple years ago through Model United Nations. At the time, she was just another club member like myself. 

Thanks to her relentless work ethic, undeniable talents and plethora of knowledge, Lauren quickly became a leader in the club and was elected as member educator. It is in her role as member educator that Lauren came to inspire myself and so many others by exemplifying exactly what strong female leadership looks like. 

Her passion for knowledge, diligent integrity and commitment to fostering others’ growth is what makes her such an inspiration to everyone who has the privilege of knowing her. Lauren Meadows gives life to the meaning “empowered women empower women.” While she is only a junior, Lauren certainly has a blindingly bright future ahead of her, and, I for one, can’t wait to see just how much she achieves. Wherever she goes, one thing can be sure: Lauren will continue to inspire people all along her way.  


Carson Henley

Carson Henley is inspired by her best friend Sara Hipsher. Anne Anderson Buy Photos

My best friend Sara Hipsher is the woman you can only hope to meet in college.

When she found me in her dorm freshman year, it would have been easy to let me drive her crazy. Instead, she took care of me. She held my hand.

Before Sara, I didn’t realize how much you could look forward to seeing someone you see every day. I didn’t realize how much fun shopping could be, how confident I could be in the ugly clothes we like, how french fries were a food group not a food, how enthralling MasterChef Junior is or how happy a friendship bracelet could make me.

She’s everything you could ever hope for and then some. She’s thoughtful and intelligent. She’s classy and kind. She’s generous and loyal. She’s always willing to go get fries.

She’s good to people. Her heart is big and gentle and gooey. You can tell in all that she does.

She points out when she loves things, and it makes the whole world seem shinier. She makes sure we notice all life’s happy little surprises.

Sara Hipsher makes life brighter. She makes me excited to be her friend every day.


Gillian Fulford

Gillian Fulford is inspired by her mom. Anne Anderson Buy Photos

My mom is way more than just the “cool” mom. Not to be dramatic or anything, but Amy Pauline Osborne is a bastion of strength and the power of moving on when life seems like it wants to hold you down. 

My mom lived through an awful marriage, raised three kids, has always been a supporter of human rights and has fought through all of her life’s challenges.

She always makes sure the people around her have everything they need, even if that means working full time while taking a full load of college courses and coming home to console her whiny teenage daughter.

My mom has a huge heart, strong will and an amazing, dry sense of humor. She writes poetry, bakes strawberry cakes and sends me pictures of cute dogs when I’m sad. My mom is a feminist and an activist and a world traveler who inspires the living daylights out of me and makes me want to make this world a better place.

Out of all the moms there were in all the world, I’m so lucky I got mine.

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