For this, I am grateful

December 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

In just a few hours I’ll be taking my last final, and therefore officially ending my first semester as a college student. It’s odd to think about how the last four months have gone by so quickly; it felt like only a short time ago that I was moving into my dorm for the first time, and now I’m preparing to head home for about a month. But at this moment, I’m taking some time to think about those one hundred and twenty or so days, and what they’ve meant to me. 

I don’t know if I could pick just one particular thing out of this past year that I appreciate; but if I could pick a season, it would definitely be this one. Why this, other then my last semester in high school, I can’t be sure of: maybe because it’s the first time that I’ve felt genuinely happy in a very long time. Maybe it’s because for once, I’m not saying to myself “I just have to get through this and things will get better.” The time that I spend at college is not just a means of getting a degree or partying until I burn out; it’s about being able to experience different things, learning how to live as an adult, and not taking it all for granted in the process. 

In regards to appreciation, the first thing that pops into my head is my family. Let me tell you, if there is one thing that will without a doubt come to miss when you’re away from home, it’s your family. Yet, I feel like I’ve become a lot closer to them because of it. I have a much better relationship with my parents especially, being that I am no longer just their child and am growing to an adult. There’s more of an open-ness and authenticity, and it’s one of the things that helps me stay grounded. If I hadn’t shared certain things with them, I don’t know if certain difficulties would have worked out the way they did. 

Secondly, I appreciate the people that I’ve met and developed close relationships thus far; I have a lot of interesting adventures with them, both good and bad: from staying up talking about various subjects until three o’clock in the morning or walking all the way across campus in ten degree weather trying to get a party (only to not get in). There are people that I’ve disagreed with and at times felt as though each of us were seeing specific situations in a completely different way. But nonetheless, I’ve come to love every one of them and thank God for allowing them to be in my life. 

It’s hard for me to show those people that I appreciate them without getting incredibly sappy about it; hopefully they know that I am grateful for them when I hug them or when I simply say “I love you.” I do cry at times; not from tears of pain, but rather unexplainable joy and gratitude. I know that I will not have all of this forever, and I don’t want to look back on it wondering what I could have done differently.

I probably sound like someone that’s way older than eighteen and a half when I talk about this kind of stuff. Honestly, I wonder if some people read my posts and wonder what in the heck I am talking about, because I probably don’t sound like you’re average college girl. But the thing is, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not just an average college girl, and I don’t want to be like that. I’ve gone through seasons of life where I’ve taken every single day for granted, and I’d rather not do that either. 

I don’t see myself as someone that is lucky. I see myself as someone that is blessed. And those blessings, both big and small, will not go uncounted.

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