Thankful To Call The University of New Hampshire My Second Home

Thankful To Call The University of New Hampshire My Second Home

Now and forever more a Wildcat.

As Thanksgiving comes and goes another year, the things I am thankful for keep on growing. I am always thankful for the food on the table, my family, my friends, our safety and health, the opportunities we are presented and able to earn, and so much more. However looking back on this Thanksgiving, something came to mind that I didn't quite think of before. I realized that I am so thankful for the place I am able to call my second home, the University of New Hampshire. While I have been home, a piece of me has been missing and I couldn't figure out exactly what it was. It wasn't until yesterday that I figured the missing piece out. As I was shopping around on black Friday, hoping to find some deals for Christmas gifts, I kept looking around to see people from school. I wasn't hoping to see people from my town or high school, but people I get to see everyday as I walk to classes, go in and out of the dining hall, or the gym. I was longing for those familiar faces and it hit me. I was missing what I was hoping to get away from all week.

Much needed was a break from school and the tight living quarters in the dorm. Enough of all the quizzes, tests, essays and studying for every class left and right. But I had underestimated the close bonds I had made this year and all the familiar faces I would miss out on when being away. This surely was not something I expected to happen when I first came into college, but over the years I am so pleased it did turn out this way. Never did I think that UNH would become my second home, and nevertheless end up missing it after only a mere few days.

I am so thankful for the people who allow me to feel this way and all the opportunities that this school has already provided me. I am now and forever more a Wildcat and couldn't be more happy to say that. We all start out college with the fear of choosing the wrong place and hating everything about it, I even thought I might have chosen wrong at first. But after the time spent at my second home, I know that no other place would make me feel just this way. So again, thank you to all the professors, students, staff, my friends, and the campus itself for letting me know I always have another place to call home.

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Hall

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.


So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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