Every Thanksgiving, families across the United States commemorate the first autumn harvest feast shared between Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians in 1621 with large and festive feasts of their own.
Dinner tables are adorned with typical colors of fall—the yellows, oranges, browns, and reds—as serving dishes heaped with turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn, and cranberries are passed from one loving family member to another.
And let's not forget about dessert: smooth and silky pumpkin pie. No matter how full you are, there's always room for a piece, maybe with a little whipped cream on top.
As wonderful as the food served on this special holiday is, Thanksgiving is also a time for each of us to remember all of the blessings we have in our lives – all of the things that we have that we can be truly grateful for.
While you likely have a list of your own, here are a few things you may want to add to be thankful for - things that only a student attending college would likely understand.
Access to higher education
When you grow up in a country that offers the option of earning a college degree, sometimes it is easy to forget that not everyone has access to this level of higher education.
In many third-world countries, for instance, people fight just to get enough food to fill their bellies or water that is safe enough to drink without risking a bacteria-based disease. Education isn't necessarily a major priority in these areas because basic life needs must come first.
But in the U.S. and other areas of the world, attending college is essentially an option for anyone who is willing to earn the grades necessary to pursue this type of elevated degree. This is definitely something to be thankful for because it enables you to more easily reach your career-related dreams.
Teachers who are more than just instructors
Looking back, many of us can name one or two teachers from grade or high school who really stood out to us. Maybe we loved their teaching method, or perhaps they just seemed to have so much passion for their subject of choice that it made us excited to learn about that particular topic.
The same is true in college, but often on a different level. Because the instructors are in the field you want to go into, in addition to being a teacher, they also become more of a mentor.
College professors are able to provide the guidance you need when working toward a career in a particular industry or field. They're there to ask questions to because they have real-life experience. They know where you are because they've been there themselves.
The ability to learn while still meeting your other obligations
Another thing college students have to be grateful for is the ability to learn while still being able to meet all of your other obligations.
Whether you attend school on a part-time or full-time basis, it's largely up to you how you set up your schedule, enabling you to work around any home or job-related responsibilities you may have.
With online classes as an option as well, it makes it easier than ever to meet your educational goals and take care of your kids, serve your country, and still earn a living in the meantime. In cases like these, you can do your coursework whenever it's most convenient for you.
If that is at 4 a.m. while everyone else is sleeping and the house is completely silent, you're all set. Or maybe it is at noon when you're on your lunch break at work and have time to do some reading or homework. Either way, it's all up to you.
A better tomorrow
The main reason people attend college is because they want a better tomorrow.
For some, this means gaining the education necessary to receive a promotion at work, enabling them to better support their family. For others, it involves learning the skills and knowledge required to start working in a whole new field, giving them the ability to achieve all of their lifelong dreams.
Whatever a "better tomorrow" means to you, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to recognize how grateful you are for creating a life that fills you with meaning and satisfies your soul – a life that, someday when you look back on it, is one that makes you smile because you know you gave it your all.
There is so much to be thankful for, not only on Thanksgiving, but during the entire year. Being a college student just gives you extra blessings in your life – blessings that make life even greater than it already is.