As Thanksgiving approaches, I can’t help but think back to how far I have come, and be thankful for those who are in my life. During this time, it is easy for me to start getting discouraged about a lot of things, especially my classes because we are nearing the end of the semester. Sometimes it is hard to not get overly stressed about all the big deadlines that are approaching or all the final exams that I have coming up, but then I remember that I have a big support system that is always there for me.

I am not going to lie to you all, sometimes I tend to not open up to people as quickly as I would hope, but when I do, I make sure that those people stay in my life forever. This year, I am extremely thankful for my family, my friends, and every advisor, mentor and professor who has supported me thus far.

Coming to college is a big step in your life, or at least it is in my family. As a first generation student, I have learned that college is also very tough and moving away from home is really difficult, but definitely a beautiful experience. I have had many ups throughout my three years of college so far, but I have also had many downs. During those tough times when I had bad mental breakdowns, I’ve really learned to appreciate those who are there supporting me every step of the way. My family has never failed to make sure that I am always taking care of myself, even from miles away. It is honestly such a good feeling to know that my family is always there to make me feel a little brighter when I start to doubt my abilities after a hard exam or after things just seem to not be looking up. They are seriously my biggest supporters and are always there to encourage me to work a little harder on the next exam or project.

On those days when I am alone in my apartment, struggling to study for the exam that I have the following week, I can’t help but be thankful for my wonderful college friends. People will always say that those friends you make in college are the ones that you will continue to have for the rest of your life, and they are definitely not wrong. These friends are the ones that will see you at your lowest, but they will also see you at your highest points in your college career. They will be there to help you study when you think that you will not be able to pass that exam. They will stay up late by your side as you finish up that project that is due the following day, and will still help you practice for your presentation. By the end of each school year, you will learn and appreciate all the support that you provided each other during those rough times.

Looking back, I definitely would not change anything I have experienced thus far throughout college. Having that big support system is what has kept me motivated to continue pushing through all the difficult times. I will forever be thankful for all the support my family, my friends, and even my professors have provided me these past couple of years. With this pandemic, I have learned to appreciate each and every one of them a little bit more, and truly comprehend that without them, I would not be half the person that I am today.