Thanksgiving as a college student means more than just stuffing your face with turkey, sweet potato casserole, and warm apple pie. It’s a break from your double life as a college student, a short vacation down memory lane. As I saw all my high school friends and ate in my favorite hometown diner, college life began to fade entirely. I was not only a Michigan student anymore, but just a girl with a lot of stories to tell. Lying in my heavenly bed gave me time to reflect on what made my first semester as memorable as it was, and who was there for me through it all. Here are four things I’m truly thankful for this holiday season, the people and places that now define me.
My Family: The Ultimate Squad
I mean really, who else?! Even hundreds of miles away, my family continues to be the most important part of my life in every way. They understand me better than anyone, and even while I’m at school not a day goes by without talking to my favorite crew. Thank you. Thank you for listening to all my first semester meltdowns, letting me brag about Michigan for hours on end, and being proud of me every single step of the way. Family over everything.
My Friends: Who Would I Be Without You?
Whether it be high school friends, camp friends, college friends, classmates, or sorority sisters, you guys always put up with me. To say the least, I’m impressed and without you, life would be a lonely place. I can’t remember the last time I ate a meal alone, did my homework alone, or for that matter, spent a second alone and I love it. Thank you for always laughing with me, being weird with me, getting fro-yo with me, listening to me rant for hours, and most of all, having fun with me no matter what we do.
My Hometown: A Peace One Can’t Find Anywhere Else
Don’t get me wrong, I love the hustle and bustle of Ann Arbor. It’s a lively and adorable little city, one that has everything a college student could ever hope for and need. However, it doesn’t come with the sleepy peacefulness that Chappaqua provides. It’s comforting to be a part of a smaller community, one where you recognize everyone crossing the street. Now that I spend most of the year away from home, it’s made me truly realize that I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else. Chappaqua, for all its beauty and coziness, is a place I will always look forward to returning to, one that warms my heart down to the core.
The Ability to Be Myself
Over the past three months, I’ve never had to sacrifice who I am to meet someone else’s expectations. I let my guard down around friends, knowing they’ll never judge me for being the true version of myself. As a college student, there’s no longer anyone to always hold your hand when things get tricky. Independence is key, and if you can’t learn to love your insecurities, you’ll never feel comfortable in your own skin. What I’ve realized is if someone doesn’t like me for me, that’s okay. However, it’s never worth trying to be someone else because the best version is the raw one.