Her parents don’t know she does this — only her old roommates and a few Trader Joe’s employees are in on her secret — and that’s just fine with her. She prefers the anonymity, so let’s just call her Flower Girl.
A junior majoring in computer science, Flower Girl dreams of one day working in cybersecurity. For now, though, the Richmond, Virginia, native is content to spread a little love across the campus of the University of South Carolina — by giving out free flowers.
Inspired by the popular photography social media app VSCO, the student (who runs @UofSCFlowers on Instagram) uses her own money to purchase buckets of flowers, which she then “drops” around campus, inviting passersby to take one for themselves or pass one along to someone else.
On the first day of fall, the university social media team collaborated with Flower Girl to watch the delight unfold. Sitting on the Horseshoe, we looked on as students noticed the bucket full of daisies and then watched from afar as they read the accompanying signs and the smiles bloomed across their faces.
One student was on her phone. “There’s this little basket of flowers outside,” she told the person on the other end of the call. “The world knew I was anxious today.”
What came next? More smiles, more laughter and an abundance of selfies. Strangers became friends as they picked up their daisies.
She doesn’t often stick around to watch the drops, but Flower Girl still gets to feel the love. Students message her on Instagram to let her know how a single flower made their day or how a flower kept its color more than a week. Her favorite memory is of the time she actually saw someone give a flower away.
And it happened again on the first day of fall. The daisies were gone, the bucket was empty, but as a pair of students re-crossed the Horseshoe after taking a few flower selfies, one of them handed their pink daisy to the other.
“The reason I try to be anonymous is because anyone can do this,” says Flower Girl. “Anyone can make someone’s day.”