Being thankful this holiday season

The holiday season, especially for me as a student, means a lighter workload. This gives us much more time to focus on what is most important, family and friends. Just getting finished with Thanksgiving break for me means having to go back to class after a wonderful week of enjoying my hometown and being with friends and family. It also means that I had plenty of time to reflect on what I am most thankful for.

On top of the long list of things I am most thankful for are the people in my life: family, friends, old teachers, new professors, classmates and coworkers, old and new. Not only has my life, values and paths been directly affected by all of these people, but also my life has been a lot easier because of them. Rarely have I found myself in a situation where I have needed help or guidance and have not been immediately able to find it, and for that I am extremely grateful.

A close second on my list of things I am most thankful for is having the opportunity to grow up where I did. Not only am I thankful to grow up in the Midwest United States, and not only am I thankful to grow up in a small town, but I am exceedingly thankful to grow up in Garner, Iowa. The opportunities that have come with growing up where I did were incredible. With speaking to other students at Iowa State University that have come from much larger high schools, the amount of activities I was involved in while attending Garner-Hayfield/Ventura high school is unheard of to them, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The large workload I put myself through in high school from the various sports, clubs, activities and musical groups thoroughly prepared me for the equally large workload in college, and I had a lot of fun doing it.

Thanksgiving is a time where you are often challenged to think about and appreciate all of the good in your life, and this Thanksgiving is no exception, especially with some of the terrible things going on in this world, some of which happening in our own country. I feel it is important to be thankful because it helps me realize how much people have done for me and to realize the debt I feel I have to all those people. To some extent I feel like I will never be able to replicate the wonderful things that people have done for me, but I feel it is my responsibility to try. Because of this I am challenged to be a better, kinder, more helpful person. If you haven’t yet, take some time out of your day to remember what you are thankful for! Happy Holidays!