10 Bruins Share About What They Are Thankful For This Year

It is that time of year again (no, not Christmas -- you all need to chill): the weather is cooling down, midterms are coming to an end and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This holiday is one of my favorites because it celebrates people coming together to share a meal and their love for one another. Although this day is marked by an abundance of delicious food, we should not forget the basic principles on which this holiday was founded: gratitude and the gift of giving.

I have taken people, things and experiences for granted before (we have all been there at one point or another), but college has really made me grateful for who and what I have in my life. This year, I hope to give back to those who have helped me get to where I am now and to those who do not have the same blessings and opportunities that I do. 

I also decided to ask some of my fellow Bruins what they are thankful for this year to see how they interpret this holiday. I got a mixture of responses that made me see Thanksgiving in a new light, and reading all of their messages of gratitude made my heart full. 

Here are some of their answers:

George Shenusay

Her Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

George Shenusay: To be honest, I’m thankful for my positive mental state and for friends who take time out of their day for each other.

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

GS: Yeah, last year I was more thankful for my home on the east coast, and I didn’t appreciate California as much. 

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

GS: I want to bring people over to my dad’s place for Thanksgiving dinner who can’t go home and see their families.

Ayushi Shroff

girl standing in front of mountains with glasses and a NorthFace windbreakerHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Ayushi Shroff: I’m thankful for my friends who have been there beside me, helping me make some difficult decisions and being my rock.

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

AS: It has changed since last Thanksgiving. I developed a better understanding of more meaningful and permanent things to be thankful for and not temporary or superficial relationships and things. 

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

AS: By being there for the people who are there for me and giving them the love and appreciation they deserve. 

Akanksha Dhanwal

girl with short black hair and glasses standing in front of a green doorHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Akanksha Dhanwal: I’m thankful for my family and friends and all the love they shower me with! I think every year, I appreciate their presence and impact on my life even more. Knowing that they’ve got my back helps me get back on my feet in the face of adversity. This year, for the first time, I also feel really grateful to be taking classes at UCLA with some of the most amazing professors. Realizing that not everyone has this opportunity fills me with a sense of gratitude and pushes me to make the most of my time here so I can eventually give back to my community!

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

AD: I think I learn to appreciate the people in my life more every year, but this year in addition to that, I feel overwhelmingly grateful for the quality of opportunities that life has offered me. So whenever I feel stressed about the future or quickly approaching deadlines, I remind myself of all the things I’m grateful for and life doesn’t seem so bad anymore!

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

AD: I want to try to impact the lives of the people and organizations that I’m grateful for in the same way that they do mine. I also want to use my education to empower and help those who couldn’t receive the same quality of opportunities because of their social background!

Meghna Komaranchath

girl with short black hair and glasses, wearing a maroon leather jacketHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Meghna Komaranchath: The cooler weather, the fact that I’m healthy and well and that I’ll be going home soon. 

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

MK: Maybe in the sense that it is less about the material things I own or the relationships I have, and now it is more about myself and my mental health.

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

MK: Probably call my parents and siblings more, try my best in my volunteering and counselor positions and just be kinder to myself so I’m kinder to others.

Kevin Chang

boy standing in front of a pool, wearing a blue shirtHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Kevin Chang: I am thankful for the friends I have managed to maintain for all my years at UCLA, and how great my roommates are. 

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

KC: Not really. I guess my roommates are a new thing as historically I have never liked my roommates.

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

KC: I want to cook for Thanksgiving with my family and tell my folks how much I love them. 

Saagarika Verma

girl with glasses wearing a shirt with pink flowersHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Saagarika Verma: Being at UCLA is a lot, and you feel anxious and stressed most of the time, and having people who support you and are there to listen to you when you need and can motivate you is really important and makes such a huge difference to my mental health and happiness. So I’d like to say that finding the people who love me and who I love in return really allows me to flourish, and I feel so lucky to have that. 

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

SV: It hasn’t really changed. 

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

SV: I want to be there for others, especially those who I love and hold dear to my heart. 

Maria Blumenkrantz

girl standing in front of a field of flowers, wearing an orange shirtHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Maria Blumenkrantz: I’m thankful for all the opportunities I have been given here at UCLA and the people around me that support me and cheer me up after a long day.

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

MB: I’ve met even more amazing people than I knew at this time last year.

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

MB: Since I’ve been in an apartment and cooking for myself, I want to take on the majority of the Thanksgiving cooking this year to let my mom relax.

Om Kapoor

boy with glasses wearing black turtleneck and beige jacketHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Om Kapoor: I’m thankful for having a great friend circle that I can always lean on and share great times with.

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

OK: Honestly, I didn’t give that much thought to Thanksgiving last year, but I think I would say it has. Last year I took a lot of my life for granted and didn’t take a lot of time to reflect on my life and the luxuries and pleasures I took for granted. 

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

OK: This Thanksgiving, I plan on donating a large portion of my wardrobe. 

Dora Arcos

girl at the beach with sunglasses and blue shirtHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Dora Arcos: This season I am thankful for family and friends and the ability to meet new people and create amazing memories with. 

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

DA: Through the years, my family has gone through so much heartache, and I’ve learned that family are those who stand with you and love you no matter what. 

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

DA: This and every Thanksgiving for the past three years, my mom, siblings and I make sandwiches for the LA community, and I hope we do the same this year. 

Lizzy Young

girl wearing denim overalls, standing in front of a green bushHer Campus: What are you thankful for this season?

Lizzy Young: This season I am thankful for friends. I made a lot of new ones this year who have really helped me get through hard times.

HC: Has your response changed since last Thanksgiving? If yes, how so?

LY: Last Thanksgiving I was thankful to be at UCLA and that it was finally starting to feel like my home. Since then, I have further found my place at this university and am now looking forward to even greater accomplishments. 

HC: How do you intend on giving back this Thanksgiving?

LY: This Thanksgiving, I am going to spend time with my grandma. She helps me out a ton and always talks about how she wishes she could see me more often. So I am going to give her special time and attention to let her know that I am thankful to have her in my life. 

As you can see from the various responses, there are a lot of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and in life in general. You need to remember not to take your blessings for granted because they can vanish just as easily as they appeared. Try to reflect on what you are grateful for this Thanksgiving and how you can give back to others, and of course, enjoy some delicious food with the people you love!