On the Importance of Thank You Cards

By Debora Aberastury on November 15, 2017

It is easier said than done.

Pen in hand, card in front of you, you worry about whether you will sound too cliché, what else you could write other than ‘thank you,’ sounding too grateful or too ungrateful — there is no right way to write a ‘thank you’ card.

That doesn’t mean that you should avoid them altogether — in fact, make it a habit. Write them at the end of the semester to your professors, after a tutor or classmate went out of their way to help you on a project or paper, or after someone gives you a gift.

And no, don’t just text or email someone a thank you; write it out. Handwritten thank you cards are more sentimental, and even though there’s a chance that it might get thrown away at one point or another, the point is that person is going to appreciate it at that moment.

Do it because you want to because someone helped you in some way that meant something to you. The secondary effects are just that, secondary. Because, yes, it will make you stand out. That person, whether it be a fellow classmate or a professor, will remember you better. You will be in their good graces, therefore more likely to get a recommendation letter, a job prospect tip, or an important introduction. You will be more likely to be asked to come back to an internship, to help a professor out with a research project, or to work on a project that could possibly be life-changing.

But don’t think of that. Do it because it is the right thing to do. Because it is what you would want in return for any help you give someone else. Because our world deserves a little more appreciation for our fellow humans.

Remember to personalize the note. Write about specific instances that person was a huge help to you, an anecdote or two, any inside jokes that might make that person smile. Thank them and let them know why exactly you appreciate what they did, why they helped, why they inspired you to do whatever it is that you set out to do.

You may not be aware the lengths that the other person went to help you. They might have sacrificed time with their family, sleep, or even missed out on their favorite TV show to help you out. A thank you card will be more than appreciated. So buy a bulk of them on Amazon (or Target!), whip out your pen, and get to writing. Make the world just a little bit of a better place.


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