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This year, Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning to me. This is the first year that I have not been in a high school routine; the first year I have not lived in my parents’ house; the first year that I am away from all of the people that I am ultimately comfortable with.

This year is significantly different.

For me, this thanksgiving is going to consist of sitting around a table of intentional conversation and joyful laughter. The air is going to be chilly, but our hearts are going to be warm. Beloved friends and family are things we should always be thankful for; however, the Thanksgiving season brings about an opportunity for everyone to gather in one place, to travel from out of the state, to catch up on long lost friendships. I am looking forward to spending time with the family I have not seen since the last birthday party in July, and to having my high school friends home for fall break.

Thanksgiving means getting over the annoyance of the typical college questions, “how’s college?” “what are you planning on doing after school?” “how are your classes?” “are you in a relationship?”, and appreciating the family that cares enough to ask those questions. Yes, the repetitiveness of these questions is quite annoying sometimes, but they aren’t going to disappear so we should all just accept them.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time to promote togetherness and unity, so what about beyond that? What happens to our thankfulness after Thanksgiving is over? Our graciousness for what we have been blessed with should not stop on Black Friday, but be a year-round effort. I can already see the spirit of the holiday season in the air here in Akron with displayed acts of kindness and gratefulness. To me, Thanksgiving does not cease beyond the third Thursday in November, but it continues into an everyday lifestyle. We should see the value behind being thankful for what you already have, tangible or intrinsic, and celebrating that with the important people surrounding you.

Thanksgiving is a time for me to reflect and respond to the blessings that God has provided me with. I am thankful to have a family that loves me dearly; I am thankful to have a roof over my head at all times and food on the table; and I am thankful to go to a university and get a higher education outside of high school.

Be intentional with your time with your family this Thanksgiving. It is often difficult to find a way to get everyone in the same place at the same time, so don’t take it for-granted.

Happy Thanksgiving!

University of Akron English Education Major
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