Post-It Positivity

Post-It Positivity

The first few months of school can cause feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and the constant need to stay on top of assignments. You want to put your best foot forward and do all you can to get on your professor’s good side. Students in Newhouse are all about business and they are focused on completing their degree. But it becomes hard to breathe with busy schedules piling up, (especially for a first-year graduate student like me.) However, life becomes a little easier when you feel empowered to keep going.

Recently, anonymous Post-It notes have appeared throughout Newhouse and have positive affirmations written on them. According to, affirmations are positive statements that can “counteract some of our negative thoughts and habits” and enable us to achieve empowerment. Statements like, “We can be heroes, just for one day.” And, “You are beautiful, smart, and strong.” Are all stuck to walls and doors on the second floors. The Post-It notes can be seen as students walk the halls on their way to class. Each note is signed, “APO” with a little heart next to the initials. I’d like to think the heart symbolized the notes were written with love.

"Yellow Post-It note that says 'We can be heroes just for one day.' on a wall in Newhouse 2"
A yellow Post-It note that sits delicately on Alan Gerry plaque reads, “We can be heroes just for one day.” Signed by APO.

I asked Cierra Johnson, a PR graduate student how she feels about the random notes. “I thought the gesture was really thoughtful. Words are powerful and can be used to uplift or tear down. It’s nice to see this person chose to uplift.” Each note serves as a gentle reminder we may need when consumed with the pressures of doing well in school. It’s great to see students are receptive to the encouraging notes.

Anyone can appreciate the anonymous positivity “APO” has demonstrated by posting the thoughtful notes throughout Newhouse. Their dedication is admirable and inspires you to be kind to the next person you encounter. Once you reflect on the Post-It notes, you remember you aren’t alone in life and there’s always someone who cares. A little push of encouragement can go a long way.

We can all take a page out of APO’s book. Writing little messages to yourself can help boost your mood, improve productivity, and re-channel your focus. Since seeing APO’s Post-It notes, I have written my own version of affirmations. I write notes on my dry-erase board, thumb-tack accomplishments from the day on my bulletin board, and even write my own Post-It notes. Positive affirmations are an instant confidence booster. My nerves have calmed down, and my outlook on accomplishing assignments has changed for the better.

Our thoughts tend to influence our attitudes, actions, and behaviors. Implementing this practice daily can bring you toward, achievement, success, and self-actualization. Seeing and reciting positive affirmations often can also improve your mental, emotional, and physical health as well.

Whoever APO is, I surely appreciate your effort to make Newhouse a little less stressful, and my experience a little more enjoyable. I’m inspired to be kind to the next person and to remind myself that I am more than capable of shifting my perspective.

Jessica Stewart