Stanford community shares more than 500 ‘good things’

Stanford community members shared hundreds of “good things” on a recent poll. The top mentions were relaxing walks, no commutes, cooking fun, time with dogs, getting to know neighbors, gardening and virtual classes.

Members of the Stanford community who responded to the recent “Share the Good” poll contributed more than 500 examples of the “good things” they are experiencing in their lives while sheltering in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stanford community members shared hundreds of “good things” on a recent poll, including taking walks. This path is located behind Stanford West, next to San Francisquito Creek. (Image credit: Kate Chesley)

Many said they were happy to be spending more quality time with spouses and children, including adult children who have returned home unexpectedly from college.

Some cited individual actions that have enriched their lives – adopting a shelter puppy, working out every day, brushing up on French and Spanish and watching operas online.

Others expressed gratitude for the good health and safety of family, friends and colleagues and spoke of steps they are taking to help vulnerable individuals in their own communities, such as delivering food every week to an interfaith ministry.

The top mentions in the poll conducted by the new website, ConnectSU, were relaxing walks, more time with no commute, cooking fun, spending time with dogs, getting to know neighbors, gardening and virtual classes.

To see all of the poll results and to read individual anecdotes, visit the ConnectSU website. In the meantime, here are a few of the contributions:

Technology brings us together

“I found a way to do a jigsaw puzzle with friends in New York, Singapore and Australia!”

“We celebrated my dad’s 92nd birthday on Zoom from five different states and he said that he has big plans for his 93rd! We all have been talking and zooming more frequently. In a way, I feel closer to them than I have in many years.”

“After years of long-distance phone calls, I’ve finally succeeded in helping my mom, who lives on the East Coast, learn how to use FaceTime. So now when we talk, I can see her – and she shows me her garden, changes she’s making to the house, her cat, what she’s eating for dinner … ”

Enjoying time with daughters and sons

“Our toddler has so much love, laughter and new things to share with us now that we’re home with her all day.”

“My daughter has got more diligent with her work, improved her understanding of the material and definitely developed purpose. Misses middle school like crazy, but shows grit and also demonstrates how resilient teens can be.”

“Spending quality time with my two teen boys is the highlight of my days. We walk, run or bike the Alameda Creek almost every day. Our time together gives us a chance to have meaningful conversations, connect deeply and simply enjoy nature.”

“My children had both left for college and are now back at home. While this is disappointing for many reasons, their return has been fantastic for our relationships as we’re playing games, collaborating on dinner and tackling projects that would not have happened again without the shelter-in-place order.”

Silver linings

“Cooking almost every meal has us eating healthier!”

“I have walked around my neighborhood and interacted – at a safe distance – with my neighbors so much more than I ever had before. I’m getting exercise, feeling the support of my community and connecting with people I live alongside.”

“The pandemic has us focusing on a daily basis on what really matters most in life, being grateful for what we have and cherishing our limited time together.”

“Watching the four o’clock flowers re-emerge outside my window. The seeds came from my grandmother and it connects me to her every year when they come back in the spring.”

“Walking the neighborhood daily with my spouse and appreciating all the flowering gardens that obviously take a lot of time and hard work to cultivate. Tulips, roses, irises, cacti and so much more! Being able to see them progress from buds to blooms. Seeing spring has been a highlight of this strange time.”


“We learned that our neighbors have three goats that they take on daily walks!”

ConnectSU, a new website launched in late April, is designed to give everyone in the Stanford community a place to connect to each other and to the university’s mission. Ideas for future polls are welcome. Please send them to