Thanksgiving. The most eagerly anticipated time of exhausted students across the country. A brief respite from the stresses of assignments and exams. A time to take a breath of cool air and let the shoulders relax before finals come along.

For college students, it means we can go home. We can get a hot meal that doesn't involve Ramen packets and a microwave. We can put our feet up in an area larger than a 10x10 dorm room. We can buy discounted items at 4 a.m. at Walmart on Black Friday. The possibilities of things to do during the break are endless.

And yet, somewhere in this mad rush to get home and relax, we forget the true spirit of Thanksgiving. We get so excited about cooking a traditional meal and watching football and making hand turkeys that we forget where this holiday comes from.

We forget to say thank you to our family. We get so caught up in the new experiences of college that we sometimes forget that it's our parents and our siblings that have helped us reach this point of newfound independence.

We forget to appreciate that which we have. We may get stressed and anxious and frustrated when it comes to schoolwork but the silver lining remains in that we have the opportunity to earn a quality education.

We forget that Thanksgiving is a joining of two people. It is a time when differences, though we have many, are set aside and the company of loved ones is enjoyed. A time when we should be more considerate of others, more understanding and open to listening to different perspectives.

In a time when the political and social climate is tense, to say the least, understanding the history of Thanksgiving is as important as ever.

In a time where it seems that there is so much dividing us, Thanksgiving remains a holiday that brings us together. Because no matter who you are, no matter where you're from, Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and appreciate all that life has to offer.

So breathe in the fresh air, take a big bite of that Thanksgiving dinner, and remember to thank your family, your teachers, and all the people in your life that have helped you reach where you are today.