Thanksgiving is a time to reflect upon our many blessings, all the wonderful things and people we have in our lives, and express our gratitude for those things and people. As we do, our minds tend to go first to the more obvious blessings—the family we’re surrounded by, the meal on the table and the roof over our heads. But there are also smaller, subtler things we may forget about—things that aren’t as apparent in our lives, but things that life would undoubtedly be different without. Here are 11 things to add to your list of thanks this holiday season:


1. Your college education

No matter how stressful your classes may get, at the end of the day, know that you’re fortunate enough to be studying what you love at an institute of higher learning, setting the course of your future and working toward a degree that will open many doors.


2. Your dining hall staff

The food served in your dining hall may not come close to the hearty casseroles your relatives cook for the holiday celebrations, but what matters is that the staff provide meals every day for thousands of students, ensuring that no one goes hungry. They don’t get enough credit.


3. Your favorite movies, songs and books

They add color to your life and, in some small way, they’ve become part of who you are.


4. Clean drinking water

So simple, yet so easy to take for granted.


5. Employees who always greet you warmly and tell you to have a nice day

Even during the holiday shopping season, which can be the most exhausting and draining time of the year, these people still keep in mind the power of kindness.


6. Hugs

It’s pretty amazing how we can instantly lift one another’s spirits by wrapping them in warm, comforting arms.


7. Caffeine

How else would we stay awake and alert during seemingly endless lectures and pull all-night study sessions during finals?


8. The tough times in your past

They’ve made you stronger, wiser and more resilient, and taught you valuable lessons.


9. Your pets

They think the world of you no matter what, and they’re always there for you, brightening up your day with their adorableness.


10. The beauty of nature

Pretty amazing world we live in. There is always beauty all around us.


11. And last but certainly not least - People who work tirelessly to protect and save the lives of others, and sacrifice time with their families during the holidays to do so. Firefighters, paramedics, police officers, doctors, and of course, the men and women of our armed forces—we thank you.