What UCF Students Are Thankful For

As Thanksgiving and the holidays approach, Americans enter a time of gratitude and reflection. A time to be around loved ones, good food and lots of love. The same applies to our 63,000 UCF students as we embark into our lovely Thanksgiving break. As a student body, we are allowed to take advantage of many opportunities and privileges. Since they are freely given, at times we can take them for granted a daily, but not this holiday season. Grab some hot cocoa and join me as we reminisce on the great things that we get to enjoy as UCF students.

1. Our football team is bowl bound

You may not care too much about football as a student here, but you definitely have to admit it is a big part of our fall semester and our culture at UCF. It gives us great memories and fun events to attend, like games and tailgates. After our worst season in program history last year, UCF students are very happy for a more successful season with a great new coach, Scott Frost. Cheers to our football team and coaches for making us bowl eligible! I hope the new year will bring our university more exciting wins and successes.

2. The best univerisy mascot

I feel like I can say with certainty that Knightro holds a special place in our hearts here at UCF. He is the one who is constantly cheering you on even when the outlook isn’t too bright. He is the one who can put a smile on your face even on the gloomiest of days. He is the one who isn’t afraid to act silly and make a fool out of himself to get a few laughs. That is who he is. He is a bright spot on this big campus. He may be just a mascot to everyone else, but he is family to us here at UCF. I am thankful for Knightro. Cheers to many more good memories, friend.

3. A beautiful campus

I am grateful for this beautiful campus we were privileged enough to get to enjoy each semester. With gorgeous sights like The Reflection Pond and Lake Claire, there is no shortage of beauty on our campus. Heck, even the students are good looking. If a UCF student is feeling sad, a stroll around campus can help lighten their mood. I have done it many times, especially strolls along the Reflection Pond are very relaxing. If you haven’t yet, give it a try this holiday season for we go on winter break.

4. Great college traditions

UCF traditions are well known both locally and nationally. We don’t do many things small. We aim for the biggest and the baddest. Our most renown tradition has to be Spirit Splash, where for one day students are allowed to jump into into the Reflection Pond for a few hours of lighthearted battling to catch one of our famous rubber ducks. Another great tradition is Light Up UCF, our holiday fair that begins every year in mid-November until early January. Another great tradition unique to UCF is Universal Knights, when UCF students get free-reign at Universal Studios Orlando for one evening. As a student, these events are a must to make your college experience worthwhile. I am grateful that we are in no short supply of exciting activities to fill our academic year with.

5. The opportunity to get a college education

As college students in the U.S. we are very privileged to have access to higher education. We have access to scholarship money, grants and loans that make it possible for us to earn a college degree. We have an abundance of options for what we can study. Opportunity just keeps knocking on our door. Yet, we need to be aware of this privilege we hold. Only 6.7 percent of the world's population are college degree-holders. While we may not have our degrees just yet, we are on the path the earning them. That is not everyone’s reality. I am grateful for this opportunity and will utilize this opportunity to make our university, town, city, state, region, country and world a better place.

6. Winter break is coming!

On the note of school, winter break is almost here! Free time, holidays, family time and relaxation is so close I can almost feel it. After working so hard this second half of the year, my peers and I are excited to have time for hobbies and loved ones. Let’s finish fall semester on a good note so we can end this year proud of our hard work.

Well, friends, I hope you are feeling more thankful after reflecting on all that our university provides for us. I wish you the best Thanksgiving. May you eat lots of good food and enjoy the time you spend with your family and friends. May the last month of 2016 treat you well, guys. We deserve it.

 

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7