Michaels: Thankful for college

Whit staff members pose for a photo with Professor Nick DiUlio during a homecoming event. This is what I am thankful for. - Photo via Sylent Michaels

Have you ever taken a moment to appreciate how lucky you are to have the opportunities to learn every day at your college, to often be taught by renowned professionals in your field of study? 

Unlike some of my peers throughout my years of schooling, I love school. My passion for learning has always remained in my heart, but college is exhausting and the senioritis is kicking in. With Thanksgiving nearing, this thought has been prevalent in my mind. With the busy schedules and homework piling up, I am inherently exhausted. The urge to want to put off my homework or skip class is consistently growing stronger, as I grow more and more tired. But, I keep reminding myself to stay thankful for the opportunities I have. After all, as of May 2024, I will no longer be a college student. 

While it may seem daunting to wake up for that 9:30 a.m. class or to write those tough papers, alongside work and extracurricular activities; it helps to remind yourself that it is actually a blessing that you have to do those things. 

“As college costs continue to rise, financial hurdles are proving insurmountable for many potential students,” according to Intelligent.com. “Thirty-four percent of young adults who aren’t currently enrolled in college say it’s because they can’t afford it. Rather than spend money on education, 31% of respondents chose to start working full-time.” 

To be able to afford to put yourself through college, or if you are among those whose parents are helping you pay off those debts– you are more fortunate than most. Simply applying to colleges is expensive, take a moment to be thankful for your privileges in life. Especially a privilege that may not often be thought of as such. For many of us, we may view college as something we have to do to make our families proud or to get a degree to be what we’ve always wanted to be once a grown-up. 

As a woman, I feel extraordinarily thankful to be attending college, as in some countries women are not allowed to attend school– and if they are it is tremendously troublesome to do so. 

In a press release from a meeting of the United Nations experts have said, “130 million girls are denied the human right to education around the world.”

In addition to this, they say, “All States have made commitments to realize the right to education for all, but fewer than half of the world’s countries have achieved gender parity in primary education. Denying girls and other vulnerable groups their fundamental right to education is discrimination at its most debilitating. It impoverishes our world as it deprives us of the creativity, ingenuity, and contributions of more than half of humanity.” 

Women’s rights, especially in America, have come a very long way– give or take hiccups here and there. But, now that we have the ability to vote, run households, and be strong independent women; I beg you to never take your opportunity to attend college for granted. 

Aside from the prices of college and the achievements women around the world have made with and without a degree, college would be nothing without the professors who are teaching our classes. These people choose to spend their life’s work educating, ultimately helping students achieve great success throughout life. And that alone is something to be thankful for. They are just as tired as we are, and may even have more on their plate as parents or experts actively working in the field they are teaching. It is imperative to remain appreciative that there are people around us who wake up every day with a want to help us learn. 

So, before you make the choice to skip your class because you don’t feel like dragging yourself out of bed on a cold fall morning, or want to watch one more episode of your show– pushing your school work to the back burner; take a second to reflect. Fight yourself to choose school over fun. After all, at the end of the day, if you are thankful you can allow yourself to see these assignments, classes, and your professors’ life lessons as fun. 

In the midst of your reflection of thanks for your family, friends, life experiences, and what you hold dear this Thanksgiving, take a second to be proud that you are lucky enough to be a college student.

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