As finals are coming around and the vibe on campus has changed, I have been looking for some things to help ease my mind. In the past, I have found that journaling is really helpful, but I have recently begun what some call a "gratitude journal." Every night before bed and even sometimes when I wake up, I write down three things that I am grateful for. Usually, I try to point out things that I don't notice every day. Of course, I am grateful for my friends and family, but what about the beautiful walk to my classes in the morning? Starting this has helped me focus on the good things, so in order to get you started on bringing more gratitude into your life, here are 25 things that I am grateful for.
1. Visits home
Understandably every college student is grateful for this, but it becomes so much better when you really take it in. Home feels a little warmer when you don't live there anymore, and even though that's weird, I'm really grateful for it.
2. My Friday morning bagels
This semester I had class at 9 a.m. on Friday mornings, and more often than not, the thing getting me through was knowing that I got to eat a chocolate chip bagel with peanut butter right afterward. Not that I had to eat this every morning, but it was a little treat for myself after waking up at 8:00.
3. My puppy
Missing your dog is something that doesn't go away when you're at college, so I'm really grateful for whenever I get to FaceTime my parents and see his cute face. If only he could actually FaceTime!
4. The short walk to my friend's dorm
The UIUC campus is pretty large compared to other schools, but luckily it only takes me about two minutes to walk to my best friend's dorm, just like at home!
5. Having my own car
At home, I have the privilege of having my very own car, so I'm really grateful that I don't have to wait for anyone in order to get to where I need to be. I also love getting to drive it when I go home!
6. When it snows during the nighttime
Snow during the nighttime is so peaceful and quiet and makes for amazing walks anywhere. Honestly, we don't have enough gratitude toward how beautiful nature is.
7. Calling my parents
I am constantly updating my parents on what I'm doing at school, and it's awesome that I am able to do that. You don't realize how much you miss them until you don't see them every day.
8. Music by my favorite artists
Without music, I honestly don't know what I would do with my life because I listen to it literally all day. Getting new music, especially from artists that I'm obsessed with, makes me happy for months on end.
9. My cozy college dorm
I do love my room at home, but I had the chance to make my dorm exactly what I wanted it to be, and the mixture of my twinkle lights, pictures of my friends and my new mattress really make me feel at home! I'm really grateful I can feel so comfortable so far away from my actual home.
10. Big sweatshirts
Big sweatshirts are my aesthetic, so if I don't have to dress up, you best bet I'm wearing one of my favorite sweatshirts. They're perfect for every time of the year, so who wouldn't be grateful for them?
11. Soft blankets
It's impossible for me to sleep unless it's cold in my room so that way I can sleep with lots of blankets on me. Coming back inside and getting under a soft blanket is something I look forward to daily.
12. A cup of cold water
If you're obsessed with water as much as I am, you know that water tastes different at different places. Coming to college, I learned that it's hard to find water that is cold and tastes good, so I'm always happy whenever I have a nice cup of water that isn't mediocre.
13. Moments of silence
My life before college was busy, but being an only child, I usually had time to myself. However, I'm always on the go in college, so I appreciate times when I can sit in silence and just take it all in. Sometimes you just need to stop and take a deep breath without anyone in the room.
14. Listening to my professor talk about science
My professor for my climate change course is a chemist, but I'm convinced that she's the smartest person on the planet. I'll be sitting in class and she'll go on about phytoplankton and dissolved oxygen, not because she has to, but because she loves it. I understand what she's saying about 50% of the time, but hearing her go on about her passion fascinates and enlightens me so much.
15. The College of Education at UIUC
The College of Education at my university is my favorite place to be, and I can say that walking into that building always feels like a warm hug. The faculty in this college is made up of some of the sweetest and most caring people I have ever met, and I am so grateful that I get to not only work with them but be a part of everything they stand for.
16. My weighted blanket
I bought a weighted blanket a few months ago to help with my anxiety, and it has been life changing for me. I am so grateful to have something that can calm me by just laying under it.
YouTube has become my new TV, so I've become one of those people that can go on and on about their favorite YouTubers and what their life stories are. Even though I don't personally know them, I met some of my favorites at Lollapalooza this past summer, and I'm grateful for everything they do to make people feel happy and loved.
18. Papermate Flair Pens
I know this one sounds completely random and specific, but that's exactly what your gratitude journal should be filled with. I use these types of pens to write down literally anything because they make my handwriting look so good. I'm not sure why they make me so happy, but they do, so I won't argue it.
19. My planner
I love organizing so much. I could probably do it all day. My aunt gave me a planner as my graduation gift, and I put my entire life in it. I get excited when I get to put more things in it, and it's so refreshing when I get to cross off something that I accomplished.
20. Hot showers
A hot shower, especially during the winter, is something that I realized I love once I started doing a gratitude journal. I take one every day, but they're so much better when you realize how relaxing they are and let yourself enjoy them.
21. My grandparents
Of course I am grateful for my grandparents, but because I don't see them as much since I'm away, calling them always makes my day. Not everyone has grandparents that are insanely amazing, so I'm lucky that I do.
22. My mom's sugar cookies
My parents just sent me sugar cookies that my mom made, and I know they've always been good, but I forgot how good they actually are. It's dangerous how delicious they are, but I'm definitely not complaining.
23. Redbubble stickers
Redbubble is a website that sells super cute stickers to put on your computer that don't mess it up when you take them off, and let me tell you, I love them. They make my computer look so cute, and you can always tell enough about a person just by looking at which ones they own.
24. Salted caramel hot chocolate
Salted caramel hot chocolate is a must, particularly a tall one from Starbucks. It takes hot chocolate to the next level and sometimes is all I need to lift my day up.
25. Burt's Bees chapstick
Chapstick in itself is a blessing, but Burt's Bees vanilla bean chapstick is my favorite. It's a silly thing to be grateful for, but when it's cold and your lips hurt, it's very understandable why this made my list.
Gratitude is an amazing thing to have a lot of in your life. Being grateful for the little things in my everyday life has made me much more appreciative of what I have and less aware of what I don't, and I know a lot of us are looking to feel the same way.