5 Things College Students Forget To Be Thankful For But Should Be

5 Things College Students Forget To Be Thankful For But Should Be

Thanksgiving Break Isn't Always Just About Food And Naps
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Having just finished up celebrating Thanksgiving I began to reflect on how and if the meaning of the holiday has changed for me over the years. The main things I always associated with Thanksgiving in the past were always family, food and going around the table and saying what each of us was thankful for that year. In the past I usually just gave the stereotypical answer of, "family." However, this year I found everything meaning a little bit more to me. My only siblings are both graduated from college and have moved away, Thanksgiving was the first time we had all been together in six months. Getting to spend three days laying around and honestly doing a whole lot of nothing with my them was quite frankly the highlight of my Thanksgiving Break and almost made me want to not go back to school. I realized exactly how thankful I am for them when I realized how much more fun being home is when they're there too. It never really feels like I'm actually home unless all of my immediate family members are present. Having such a large age gap with my siblings a lot of times made me feel like I had to grow up just as fast as them when I was younger so I could keep up, but looking back it has just made me all the more appreciative for what I do have when I have it. That being said, here are five simple things to be thankful for this holiday season:

1. Friends that will always have your back.

When you're feeling down whether it be over a bad exam grade, a stressful week or just waking up on the wrong side of the bed, nothing can cheer you up better than your friends. Whether it be your group chat from home or your tight-knit group of friends at school there is always someone that will be there for you and ready to pick you up when you're feeling down. They know when you need an encouraging message and to talk it out or just a big hug and a movie marathon and they're willing to do whatever it takes to make you feel better because they know you'd do the same for them. Never let go of these people, loyal friends are the ultimate support system. Remember to let them know just ho much you appreciate them from time to time.

2. Family that loves you enough to fight with you.

The next time you're fighting with your Aunt/Uncle/Grandpa/obscure Cousin over the election results take a step back to peel away politics or whatever it is you're fighting about and just remind yourself who that person is to you in your life. If you're close enough to see each other on the holidays and fight with one another you're lucky to have them in your life. Plus there's a ninety-nine percent chance that they're only arguing there views with you because they want what they think will be best for you and everyone else, it's just that their opinion of what's best might be different from your. At the end of the day, every family fights and every family has their weird quirks but just remember the next time you're storming away from them at dinner, you're lucky to have them there in the first place. There are people out there that would do anything to have loved ones back this holiday season.

3. Not having to worry where your next meal will come from.

Though as college students we may joke from time to time about how we're always broke and hungry it's important to keep in mind that they are just that: jokes. Many people are lucky enough to never have had to experience a fear that comes from not being able to feed ourselves or our families, it's something we don't think twice about. Unfortunately this isn't the case for everyone and the holidays just make this fear all the more real and stressful to those living in poverty. So, when you're sitting down to whatever holiday meal it may be this year, remember to take an extra moment to appreciate all that you have, even if it's something as simple as food. More people than we think don't have the opportunity do that. Meanwhile food for us is usually just a quick walk to the dining hall or trip to the kitchen away.

4. The roof over your head.

We sleep in warm, dry, clean beds and have a home to go home to over breaks. It's something so simple and so easy to take for granted, yet there are people who have no where to go home to. The next time you're bored sitting around the house or out somewhere thinking about crawling in bed and taking a nap remember that there are people that don't have bed or a home to go home to. Remember to be thankful for what you have, even if it is something as simple as a bed or a place to go home to at night.

5. The education you have been afforded.

No matter where you may be enrolled there is nothing to be more appreciative of than receiving an education. Whether you pay for it yourself, someone else does for you, or you're there on any type of scholarship there is no true value that can be put on it. Not only are you being given the tools that you will need to enter the real world upon graduation, you are developing yourself as a person. Living away from your parents or not, college is a time of discovering what you truly stand for as you take classes in subject areas of your choice and decide what you want to do with your life in the future. Take advantage of all your education has to offer you and absorb as much as you can. Knowledge is the greatest weapon we can have in defending ourselves as persons and holding ourselves and others accountable. Not everyone gets this weapon to the same degree, hold on to it and never take it for granted.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Salvo

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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To Those Who Feel The Need To Tear Down Others, Take A Seat

You have no right to hurt others because you don’t agree with them.

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I recently wrote a super controversial article, which I'm honestly very proud of. In the comment section, there were plenty of people criticizing me because of what I believe in, mainly because they didn't believe in the same thing as I put out there.

I would just like everyone to know that the people that write for this amazing company are just that — people. They are real, they have opinions, and they have feelings. There is nothing different about them than you. Would you like someone commenting hate on your Facebook post or anything like that? No, no you wouldn't. When you comment rude things on something that someone worked long and hard on, you are just being rude and inconsiderate of their feelings.

If you just go to the comments to leave a rude comment, you can write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away. You're being a bully. These writers more than likely will go to the comment section, just like I did, and will be hurt by your arrogant, inappropriate comments.

Ever heard of if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but that doesn't give you the right to deliberately go and try and tear me or anyone else down. You're just being rude and you have no reason to be, all I did was write an article on something I believe in.

Also, don't let anyone rude enough to do this tear you down or diminish your self-worth. There are people out there who are still kind and caring, don't listen to the negativity this world brings. Just keep doing what makes you happy, because in the end, that's all that really matters.

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