What I’m Thankful For

Kathryn Cambrea, Editor in chief

Well, it is Nov. 1, and you know what that means: Thanksgiving is approaching. Although the holiday is not here just yet, it is never too early or too late to take the time to just pause and reflect on what you are grateful for. In fact, do not ever forget the people who you care about and what you do have. Life will not be anywhere near as positive for you by spending time dwelling on everything you lack when you could be celebrating that you are alive and loved.

I am especially grateful to have the opportunity to be a college student. This is how all college students should feel. Although it can be tempting to complain when the course load turns heavy and challenging to tune out surrounding voices of negativity, remember that you are getting a degree, an education. If you are a woman, remember that women did not always have this chance, and that women of the past would be proud of us. Regardless of who you are, however, think of your mind as a strainer, a filter. You may hear the gripes of classmates, but you do not have to listen to them or change how you are feeling because of them. Do what YOU want to do, and listen to people who will uplift you, such as your advisor, a professor, or a friend. Should you ever feel your gratitude for being able to go to school being washed out by the inevitable stress of homework, dive into the assignment. Think of it this way: if you are complaining about work that you have to do, rather than put it off and prolong the complaining process, you could at least start the daunting assignment to alleviate some stress. When you shift from focusing on such negative emotions, you give yourself more time to think positively.

My brother, Michael, is someone who I am extremely thankful for. He has taught me so much about life and has done so with few words but his entire heart. Michael has special needs and has a communicative and neurological disorder called oral motor apraxia. He can articulate his thoughts, but cannot always form the words to say what he is thinking, hence why he uses an augmentative communication device. Michael is always there to embrace me when I am overwhelmed and he validates my actions as his big sister. I can count on him to hum to the tune of any song on the radio and to fill me with pure joy with his laughter. Michael communicates in ways that do not require words; he radiates warmth and beams with excitement in my presence, and I am so lucky to have a sibling who loves me as if I am his world.

Most of all, I am thankful for my incredible mother. She never ceases to love my brother and me and has pushed me to pursue any avenue I choose. She is the epitome of selfless work and persistence and serves as an inspiration for any woman who meets her, including myself. Not to mention that I would not exist without her. I love you, Ma, and thank you for believing in me and telling me that it is alright to take a pause and relax; I get my work ethic from you!

Of course there is so much more I am thankful for; the number of people and things is probably infinite. However, I find that it is not necessary to think of all these things in one instant. The list will only grow as life persists, and we do not know what (or who) will be additions. If you just focus on a few people or things that you feel the most grateful for, I guarantee you that it is worth it. Whether it is Thanksgiving or not.