Happy Thanksgiving!

This is my first year (since coming to America) spending Thanksgiving by myself. My family and I have never put much emphasis on Thanksgiving, but still, homesickness hits hard at a time when all you see on your Facebook feed are picturesque portraits of beautiful families, reunited. It’s harder, too, when you haven’t seen a single soul in your dorm since Thanksgiving break started… (though I have to admit, the silence on campus is quite nice!)

However, there are still many things to be thankful for! For example, I get to do laundry without having to wait since there’s nobody here… and I can literally use ANY shower on my floor. Heck, I can take multiple showers! What luxury!

In all seriousness, though–while I try to be grateful for every single day, it’s hard sometimes, because we all get caught up in the ups and downs of life. Thanksgiving is a time for us all to reflect upon what we are thankful for. So this year, I am extremely thankful for Cornell.

College experiences vary from person to person, from college to college. There are some days when I question myself and my decision for coming here. Actually, I question it all the time. But at the end of the day, I know Cornell is for me. Cornell is the best thing that has happened to me so far. It’s pushed me, it’s challenged me, but it has also helped me mature, to grow, and live up to the best I can be. So here, I’m going to just break that down:

I am thankful for people.

Perhaps one thing that I am MOST thankful for is my friends here at Cornell. I am thankful for people. At the end of the day, I think it’s the people we meet and the connections that we create that define our lives, and I’m grateful to have had so many meaningful connections here at Cornell. It’s still unbelievable to me that I’ve found my peeps in a couple short months here on campus. Truth is, it’s sort of hard being 18 and being a thousand miles away from family for the first time–but my friends make my days here so much better, and sometimes even without realizing it.

I am thankful for opportunities.

I think going to an Ivy League institution is something that a lot of people could only dream of. And I’m living it (somehow)! Sometimes I still wake up and have to remind myself that I’m here. And that all sounds really cliched, but it’s true! I’m thankful for the fact that I get to receive a world-class education and to have the opportunity to become more educated and knowledgeable.

I am thankful for ups and downs.

My life is not perfect, but I am still thankful for whatever life throws at me, because it challenges me. Especially at Cornell. I can honestly say that it’s not always “smooth sailing” here–there are plenty of bumps in the road. I face set backs, I feel discouraged. I feel incapable, unintelligent, and downright inadequate. But that’s exactly it–those are the feelings that inspires me to get up when I’ve fallen down, and smile, even when nothing seems to be falling into place. I’ve started to grow up. I am thankful that Cornell pushes me, forces me to be and do the best I can and go beyond.

I am thankful for life.

Every single day is a blessing. Sometimes it honestly may not seem like it, but I am thankful for being here. I am thankful for being able to experience life, and not just at Cornell, of course. It’s a really scary, beautiful, but also fantastic thing. It’s hard to be very thankful every single day, and it’s hard to be 100% positive every single day. But, today, I’m putting everything aside–I’m just going to be perfectly content with what I have, and what’s in front of me.