My Evolving Understanding of Thanksgiving

I think I’m finally at the point in my life where Thanksgiving means a little more than the turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce on the table. Growing up, Thanksgiving meant just that, giving thanks. We were taught to be grateful on this particular day in the year, what with the rich history of our country, and the strong tradition that had been carried on since. I’ll add some cliché to this by saying that college has opened my eyes to a whole new meaning of the word and the holiday.

College is a time of reflection and personal growth, and one thing I’ve noticed is that there is so much more occurring in the world that I can imagine. When someone goes to college, his / her world no longer consists of high school, family, and friends. My world has grown, both literally and metaphorically, and I’ve come to realize how many people there are and how many differences we have.

I could defeat the purpose of this post by providing a detailed list of the individual things for which I used to be grateful and a more updated list of the things I’m now grateful for. But one of the realizations I’ve come to is that Thanksgiving isn’t really about listing all the things that are going well in your life and counting your blessings for just those things. Rather, this holiday is about appreciating where you are in your life, and for being thankful for that place as a whole.

I’m thankful for being slightly confused, very determined, and absolutely enamored by what college has offered me thus far. I’m grateful for having chosen a school that allows me to share my thoughts, raise my voice, and speak up when I feel something.  I’m so glad I attend a college that has expanded my world and my views in ways I would never imagine.  And above all, I’m grateful to have been exposed to people and ideas that have brought me to this very realization. I hope everyone has a great holiday. I hope each of you appreciates where you are in your life, and I hope that this year, your “What I’m Thankful For” List has grown beyond belief. Happy Thanksgiving, Rutgers.