Things To Be Thankful For

By Rachel

I write this as I finish my last essay of the term and have four finals within the next two weeks. It’s hard to recognize what you’re thankful for while in the midst of the end of term — the weight of finals, finishing assignments you’ve put off for the whole term, and trying to realize just exactly what you’ve learned these past three months. But recognizing what you take for granted is important, because it gives you context for your goals and reminds you why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place.

I am thankful for university: a place where we’re able to expand our minds and learn how to think. It’s also the place I’ve met many new friends and comrades that I’ve created incredible and unforgettable bonds with.

I am thankful for fellow students. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my feelings during a course and that I can reach out for support in class — even if it’s just to ask for some class notes.

I am thankful for the professors who are empathetic towards the amount of work that is asked of us as students, and who do their best to ensure we succeed in our grades but also learn something new that we can apply to our careers and to our lives. This is no easy feat, and I’m sure it requires a lot of hard work and effort from them, so it is greatly appreciated.

I am thankful for rubrics, because they tell me what I need to do, and sometimes that’s all you really need in order to succeed. Knowing how to follow instructions is a skill that is greatly undervalued.

I am thankful for study guides, especially those which tell you exactly what you need to study for. They make university more about what we learn and less about how well we take an exam.

I am thankful for the University of Alberta libraries and librarians: the true underdogs of any degree. Seriously, the amount of times the library’s resources have dug me out of holes during my final year has been too many to count. I wish I had known just how useful they are in my previous years, and how extensive their book collection is. If you have to write any essay and have any type of question, they can either answer it for you or find someone who can — all in record timing!

I am thankful for the many various study spaces we have on campus and how many we have to choose from. People study and learn differently, and our campus gives us enough options to choose from.

I am thankful for my friends, because without them I would go insane. A simple chat over coffee is enough to reset my brain for my next study sesh. I value even our simple text conversations because it reminds me what is good in this world.

I am thankful for my family, because whenever I get testy during exam season, they understand and will make me a cup of tea even without me asking for one.

Speaking of: I am thankful for tea, because it gives me something to look forward to while studying. A warm cup of anything, really, can upgrade your study session to a cozy study session, and that’s an upgrade worth going out of your way for.

I am thankful for all that it took to get me to where I am today, and for all that it will take to get me where I want to go in the future.

Until then, I’ll be studying patiently.