Gratitude This Season

Less than a week out from Thanksgiving break, there is a lot to be thankful for around campus. At home, we don’t have set traditions that we follow each year - we’re just happy to be together. Now that I live on campus, I’m starting to look at my life in a different way, so I’m taking the next few days to reflect on the things I am grateful for. During my first thirteen weeks at Notre Dame, I’ve had a lot of new experiences and I’ve met a lot of new people.Looking back, I am very grateful for each of the lessons I have learned thus far in college.

 

First and foremost, I am grateful for the friends I had that came with me to Notre Dame. They made the transition a LOT easier than it would have been if I went alone. They’ve been my rocks throughout this first semester, whether it was with the fears of socialization or the stress of college classes.

 

(picture from the author, from high school graduation)

 

I’m grateful for my roommate. I really got lucky with her - she and I clicked immediately, which eased a lot of my worries with dorm life. There’s a lot of laughter in our room: from our quote wall of sad yet inspirational one-liners, from Wednesday night radio shows, and especially from our absent-minded tendencies. As I was writing this, we faced the 29 degree cold to find her wallet after calling both the Uber driver and the restaurant she was at (Her wallet was in the street outside our dorm).

 

I’m thankful for my dorm - literally the best people in the best place. We have a picture of a turkey up in our 24 hour space, and each girl in the hall has written what they’re grateful for on a feather. It’s beautiful to read, because everyone has such big hearts and lots of love to share. The girls here have welcomed the freshmen with open arms, sharing in our successes and failures, and always reminding us that we are not alone.

(picture from the author, from the residence hall basement)

I’m especially grateful for all the friends I have made at Notre Dame. Each person has their own unique story, and I am stunned to hear how far everyone has come. I’m excited to see how we all grow together in this crazy journey that is laid out in front of us. The experiences we share - odd classes, cold football game days, strange field trips, memorable SYRs, late-night runs to LaFun - are so special, and I couldn't be happier.

 

But in a weird way, I’m also thankful for the negatives I’ve experienced in college so far. No student is a stranger to poor test grades, doses of homesickness, or conflict with peers. However, the ways we recover from these setbacks reveal that there is a lot of room to grow. I’m thankful that each experience will help me develop into the person I am still becoming.

(picture from the author, of the sunset outside O'Shaughnessy Hall)

As much as Notre Dame has become my home, I am grateful to spend this upcoming holiday with friends and family, who motivate me each day to be the best student, friend, and person I can be.