It’s always really awkward because I’m totally the type of person to be like, “you shouldn’t love your significant other only on Valentine’s Day,” or “you shouldn’t care about the environment only on Earth Day,” or, more timely, “you shouldn’t be thankful for things only on Thanksgiving.”
Because I guess it’s probably true. We should be thankful every day, not just the day we obscenely indulge ourselves with turkey and mashed potatoes.
Nevertheless, I’m going to give thanks while I sit with my family around the dining room table, and I’m going to give thanks here.
And I’m going to try not to bore you with all of the I’m thankful for my family and my pets and my house and the fact that my dad pays the heating bill during the winter so my toes don’t fall off due to the cold clichés. Because what I’m thankful for this year (in contrast with last year’s thanks being given to the TV show Friends) is my college education.
So, maybe it’s kind of a cliché, but it’s the last time I get to use that cliché, so I’m going to give it all it’s got.
College is the best because I live in an apartment with my five best friends and because it’s socially acceptable to lie in my bed all day and watch Netflix and because I have this charmingly young adult ability to avoid responsibilities. But it’s also the best because, I go here, Assumption College, and the things I’ve gotten out of it I don’t think I could’ve ever expected.
Whenever I think about how grateful I am for the fact that I go to this school, I just think about the fact that I’ve been given the chance to write a senior honors thesis—even though it doesn’t feel like much of a blessing when I see on my to-do list that I have to force myself to write seven or eight pages that day, or when I have to deal with the fact that I literally have no place to store all of the Interlibrary Loans I have in my room.
But when the sheer mass of work I have to do on my project starts to pile up on me, I just ask myself: When is the next time I’m going to be able to dedicate an entire semester to studying the way Disney is a propaganda machine and represents the way we conduct foreign relations?
I can answer that question real quick: Never.
And then I just smile at the fact that I’m so unbelievably fortunate that my course load has made room for me to do this and that I have faculty who support me in this endeavor (shout out to Dr. Kisatsky for advising this thing) and that I’ve had the time and the means to flesh this project out into something so much more than proving that Disney movies perpetuate stereotypes.
And even if I weren’t writing my thesis, the simple fact that I just go to school here at Assumption is enough to be thankful for.
A little story: When I was a senior in high school, all of my friends were the absurd hipster geniuses that you all probably didn’t pay much attention to because all they spent their time doing was computer code and going to Passion Pit concerts. It wasn’t very easy to feel good about myself by the time college acceptance letters started to come out.
Don’t get me wrong, I know Assumption is a great school, I understand (all too well, actually) that a lot of upper echelon schools nowadays are just getting you to buy the name at the top of your degree. I get it.
But my best friend goes to Columbia University in New York City. Someone else goes to Duke University. My other friend goes to Tufts University. Another goes to Yale University.
So it’s more than understandable that their acceptance letters made mine feel, well… Sub-flippin-par.
But now, four years later, I’m sitting in my room in five men, and guess what? I’m working on a really cool project for school. I’m writing a column as the Assistant Editor-in-Chief for my school’s newspaper. I’m planning my work around learning my dance team’s nationals routine this weekend. I smiled today, which is way more than I can say for Columbia or Duke or Yale.
And this all has everything to do with the fact that the kids at Assumption are good people and my professors actually guide me toward success instead of grading on an impossible curve. My worry of getting a job over the person sitting next to me is non-existent. It has everything to do with the fact that Assumption is a pretty awesome place.
So there. That’s what I’m thankful for.
Assumption and all of its awesomeness.