In the midst of the busy school year, with college applications to be finished and scholarship essays to be started, plus finals and endless hours of studying on the horizon, finding things to be grateful for may seem difficult. Everyone can define being thankful as something different, yet everyone has something to be appreciative of in his or her life. Whether it’s surviving the first quarter of high school or college, or having awesome teachers and family to support your decisions, there is always something to be thankful for whether you acknowledge it or not.
It may seem hard to be thankful at times, but it’s easy to start with the simplest things we take for granted. Having access to food, water, clothes, and a place to go home to are important to appreciate. It’s more common than you think to find someone missing at least one of these necessities in life. In this season of giving, challenge yourself to give to those in need. Give your spare change to those ringing bells for The Salvation Army. Donate old coats and winter gear you no longer wear to locations accepting gently used items. Give to your local food pantry. The list is endless! Selfless acts of kindness leave the giver feeling full of joy.
The upcoming holiday season is something to be grateful for. Gathering with family from near and far, sharing a meal with them, sharing your college or career plans, and getting a small break from school is a blessing after three months of hard work and homework. Be grateful for your plans this holiday season. Being able to go home or on a vacation for the holidays is a much-needed break from the usual schedule, and it’s definitely something to be thankful for since some classmates may not have a place to celebrate the holidays. It’s important to enjoy the moments spent with family. Really enjoy the home-cooked meal too, since it may be long missed if you’re in college or about to be!
Despite going on break soon, there’s a lot to be thankful for in school too. Making it to your final year—whether of high school, college, or even graduate school—is an accomplishment to be grateful for. Having teachers who care about your future may be tough now, but they’re preparing you for what’s coming. (Long readings prepare you for college assignments, papers for applications and résumés, etc.) Being able to pursue a secondary education, let alone a post-secondary education, is a blessing. Receiving an acceptance letter to your top school is incredible. If you receive a denial, the humbling experience may open new doors to places you never thought of before. A better opportunity is yet to come.
I thank God for the opportunities I’m given because if I wasn’t thankful, there would be an endless number of things to want.
Everyone has it better than some and worse than others. Instead of looking at this in a negative way, we can be thankful for the things we have that others may not. This Thanksgiving, and every Thanksgiving, are times for giving and being thankful. The worst to come from being thankful is a future of positive thinking with a kind soul. Thankfulness is defined differently from person to person, but no matter the difference, you should always live your life to the fullest.