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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Montclair chapter.

As the holiday season approaches, I tend to look back on my year as a whole. 2023 was a year of a lot of change for me. I had quite a few realizations throughout the year, making me stop to think that I’m becoming an adult and time is faster than I would like it to be. Going into 2023, I didn’t know what to expect besides some vacations planned, being in school, and having good people in my life. Since Thanksgiving is soon and giving thanks is a huge aspect of this holiday, here’s a list of things I’m thankful for in 2023.

Firstly, I’m thankful for my mother planning the best Italian vacation ever! I started 2023 by traveling to Europe for the second time with my parents. Italy was a trip my mom had planned for years, but due to COVID, it was postponed. Luckily, we were finally able to go this past January. I’m very grateful to say that it was the best vacation ever. With a combination of all the delicious food, the amazing architecture, and the iconic history this country holds, it was something I’ll never forget. If anyone’s thinking of spending a little extra money on a nice vacation, I’d suggest Italy all the way!

Another thing I’m thankful for this year was my uncle allowing me to intern at his PR agency this summer. Working internships as a college student can be overwhelming and scary at times. Thankfully, I have great family members who always have my back, like my uncle. This was my first internship, and I had no idea what to expect. There was a lot of commuting, hard work and tearful rides home. After all this, however, I wouldn’t change a thing because this summer taught me the importance of growing up and working in the real world. Even though working in public relations wasn’t necessarily my thing, I’m still grateful for the experience and for trying out a field of work that I’m not studying at Montclair State. Thank you, Uncle Jimmy!

Something else I know I’m thankful for this year is my relationship with my longtime boyfriend. In July, we celebrated our 2nd anniversary. Oftentimes, it feels like we’ve been together for decades, but that’s love, right? The summer between my sophomore and junior years, I was going through it emotionally. The idea of adulting and being halfway done with college started to creep up on me, scaring the hell out of me. My anxiety spiraled into anger and sadness. My feelings made me become this negative person that I never wanted to be, and I was waiting for the day he would leave me. But he didn’t. Instead, he stuck by my side, hugged me every night after work, and always reminded me that it was going to get better. He was right, but don’t tell him I said that. All jokes aside, I am very lucky and thankful to have a partner who sticks with me through good times and bad.

Being able to live with my college friends in an apartment starting my junior year is another thing in 2023 that I’m thankful for. College, to me, is four years of chaotic fun with new, great people in your life. Living with your girlfriends in college is something that won’t last forever, so now’s the time to embrace it and live your life to the fullest. I love the idea of having my own little space that I share with the people I’m closest to at Montclair. Whether it’s watching old Nickelodeon shows in the living room or constantly driving to McDonald’s instead of cooking, living with my college friends is something I recommend everyone experience.  

The last and most important thing that I’m thankful for in 2023 are my parents. I’m grateful for my parents all year around, but I still want to include them because they are a huge part of my life. Similar to the situation with my boyfriend, my parents always comforted me after the summertime sadness I experienced. I know I had a lot to deal with, but their patience and wise words showed me the true gift of life: working and earning benefits. I am and always will be thankful for my parents and the love they have for me. My relationship with my parents is something I’ll cherish forever.

If you liked this article, be sure to check out our Instagram @hcmontclair to stay up to date on stories and other news! Happy Thanksgiving!

Madison Hentze

Montclair '25

Madison is a junior, majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Montclair State University. She enjoys walks with her dogs, reading, watching movies, and hanging out with her loved ones. Her goal with her articles is to entertain readers and be the best writer she can be.