By Leigh Brandt

As I scroll through Instagram I am continuously greeted by Instagram Stories of uplifting quotes from friends, family and people I follow, each offering words of inspiration or guidance. 

While many times those quotes are powerful on their own, they urge action — more action than just comments or likes. 

At a boarding school in upstate New York that could feel isolating at times, I learned the importance of reaching out. It instilled in me a belief that I should always make an effort to reach out to my peers, whether we are extremely close or not. 

Because sometimes, it’s those messages that can make a real difference.

Here’s a recent example from my life — I’m good friends with someone who transferred colleges. After browsing through her Instagram page, I came across a post on her “finsta” with a caption detailing difficulties of being at a new school and dealing with social anxiety and feeling lonely.

It resonated with me. Rather than commenting on the post itself, I reached out to her and told her about my current situation. As a transfer student myself, I can empathize with what she’s going through and I believed telling her might make a difference. It did.

There is so much value in offering support to others. In my friend’s case, reaching out not only helped her, it made me feel good too.

I urge others to reach out, because it’s worth it.