Thanksgiving is upon us. The leaves are starting to bronze and fall with the autumn winds. Exams are piling up and essay deadlines are looming in the background. But at the end of this tunnel, is the smell of a beautiful home-cooked meal, the warm embrace of family and friends and the sound of music. (No pun intended.)
As arduous and tiresome as university can become around this time of year, there is something special and charming about it. Despite the long caffeinated hours of studying and writing until late hours, I cannot help but be blissed by the thought of coming home again.
With all the political tumult permeating our nation, the questions of our future and the general pressures and difficulties of being a student, the solace and peace of home remain universal. Something that I learned from my family was the value of relationships.
Everyone has their good days and their bad days but through it all, relationships are what hold us together and keep us centered. If ever I find myself becoming a product of the stress and anxiety of the world we live in today, I simply yield to the joy of coming home and seeing my family.
Everyone has their own unique story, background and set of circumstances. We are all connected to certain people. They may or may not be closely related to us, but we can easily take for granted how much of an influence they can be on our lives. Thanksgiving, as cliché as it may be, is truly a time to be thankful and grateful for not just our family, but everyone else who is a part of our lives in some capacity.
As I approach the final half of my junior year and my subsequent senior year, I realize just how fleeting my time at university has been.
With that being said, I am trying to take each day as it comes, no matter how difficult it may be, and find some way to be thankful for who is in my life. Although it may not always be the easiest to say, something that can truly go a long way for the people in our lives is to thank them for whatever it is they do for you.
Whether you are thankful for the friendships you have built and maintained, for the staff members at the University of Richmond who get us through our days, for the faculty, mentors, and advisors who help us in planning our futures after college, or for our professors who teach us everyday, being thankful strengthens the bonds you have built with these people.
Furthermore, being thankful helps to give you perspective as to what is most important in life.
The more time I spend focusing on the people in my life, the better I feel and the more connected I feel with those people. Something else I learned from my family is just how quickly time is to pass but instead of being dismayed by that reality, it taught me to appreciate the present even more.
As I finish my time at UR, I enjoy each day and try to look for the positive in everything rather than the negative. There is far too much negativity and anxiety being spread over politics lately. As a result, people can easily lose sight of the positive in one another.
Nothing is perfect and nobody is perfect but we all can learn something from each other and we can all be thankful for what we bring to each other. Once you open yourself up to somebody else, you can learn more about them but you can also learn more about yourself.
With the ever-growing spread of social media, it is becoming far too easy to yield to its comfort and instant gratification. Though social media can, ironically, make people less social insofar as it does not require you to interact with other people in person. The result of this is that we no longer see the value in personal interaction and we can easily forget to be grateful for the people who have been a part of our lives.
So, as the holiday season approaches, I call all of us to be truly thankful for those who are with us now and who make us who we are, but also those who we have yet to come to know.
Contact Opinions writer Alex Rigsby at firstname.lastname@example.org.