Things I’m Thankful for this November 


Lena Gripp, Assistant Opinion Editor

Thanksgiving is coming up at the end of the month, and I’ve been thinking a lot this November of things that I’ve been very thankful for.  When I sit back and think about all of the special people in my life and opportunities I’ve been given, I truly realize how blessed I am, and how thankful I am of them.  I’ve decided to make a list to highlight a few of them. 

 1. My family and my home 

Home is certainly where the heart is.  Home is a part of one’s identity.  No one will ever understand “home” the same way that you do.  Home for me is in the country, with wide, open spaces.  Home is where my parents live.  I’m thankful to have grown up in the country on a family farm.  I’m thankful to my parents to have been able to support me and raise me well, with good morals and principles

2. My pets 

The love you have for pets is a special kind of love.  Your pets will love you when you feel lost.  Pets don’t care if you have the most money or the nicest things.  Animals are such good judges of character in people, too.  At home, I have a deaf Dalmatian named Patch, and two rescue cats, Floppy and Dominic.  At school, I currently have two Betta fish, who keep me company and provide some liveliness in my room.  I’m thankful for my pets. 

 3. My school friends 

Other than studies, obviously, college is about getting out on your own with people who have similar interests in furthering their education in a specific field.  The people I surround myself with at school build each other up and support one another.  Finding friends in college isn’t necessarily easy or particularly hard, but once you find like-minded people to share college experiences with, there’s nothing you’d want to trade it for.  My college friends have seen me when I’m drained, working into the early hours of the morning on projects, and they have also seen the fun side of me that gets to let loose when I’m finally done with those long, tedious projects.  I’m thankful for those people who have encouraged me in my work and for being there when I’ve needed a shoulder to lean on, too.  I’ll treasure these memories for the rest of my life. 

 4. My friends from home 

I’m thankful for my friendships at home that I’ve been able to maintain while being away for college.  My friends from home keep me grounded.  They remind me of where I came from and who I’ve always been inside.  They’ve seen the ins and outs of my life.  They’ve stood behind me while I’ve been lost and have helped me find the light again.  They are very understanding of the fact that it’s hard to come home as often as I used to get to as an underclassman.  The time that I get with these people when I go home is very special to me.  I get to let go of worries about school and just enjoy being with these people in our favorite places. 

5. My teachers, professors, and education 

Being able to attend college is something that not everyone gets a chance at.  I’m so thankful that I live in a country that allows me to obtain a furthered education.  Along with this, I’m thankful for the teachers I had growing up who prepared me for college, and my college professors who have taken the time to help me along the way, and help me find the field that suits me best, so that I can make a difference in the world when I graduate. 

6. The country I live in 

Living in the United States is a blessing, no matter how you identify politically.  Our country offers us the First Amendment, guaranteeing us the freedoms of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and petition.  I’m also thankful for the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.  Not all women in all countries are allowed the right to vote, and as a woman, I have a lot of appreciation for all of the hard work that went into this amendment and the people who fought for it. 

 7. Weekends 

I’m thankful for the weekends.  I’m thankful for a break from classes where I can collect myself and get things done that I didn’t have time to do throughout the week, like laundry, cleaning my room, and running errands.  Being involved in student organizations is such an amazing opportunity, but it does fill a lot of “free” time throughout the week, which can make household chores in my suite difficult to make time for, especially when you have homework to do, too.  I’m thankful for a couple of days to get caught up with everything else I have going on, outside of schoolwork. 

 8. To have grown up during the time that I did 

I’m thankful that I grew up during the time that I did.  I think that I got to grow up during a very interesting point of time in history.  Being born in 1996, I was just old enough to remember the turn of the 21st century.  I can remember when cell phones were popularized, and what it was like before anyone had them.  My parents carried around portable, business band radios on their belts to communicate.  Then I grew up with flip phones.  People still had landlines.  My church had a rotary phone.  Then we saw a change from cassette tapes to CDs, to MP3 players, to iPods, to people playing music directly on their phones.  We saw box TVs with analog signals change into flat screens with digital service.  We saw bulky desktop computers turn into flat screens, too, and eventually laptops.  We saw the invention of tablets turn from basic gray, pixilated screens to high-definition tablets like the latest iPads.  We saw VHS tapes turn to DVD, then to Blu-ray, and eventually, online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.  I feel truly blessed to have grown up in such a time of great change, and being able to appreciate what we have now while remembering how things used to be.

9. Diversity 

I’m thankful for diversity because if I hadn’t been exposed to different types of people, my world would be much duller.  Diversity creates depth within culture and society around us.  It offers up different perspectives and ideas. 

 10. Opportunities

Finally, I’m thankful for opportunities.  I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had in my personal life and my work life.  I’m thankful for the work experiences I’ve had, and for the opportunities I’ve had to volunteer with various organizations to help others.  Helping others has helped me learn and grow as an individual.