Thanksgiving: What I Am Thankful For

What am I thankful for? These past four years here at Brockport

As we enter the home stretch of the Fall Semester and I register for classes in the Spring, my last semester here at Brockport, I can’t help feel anything but grateful. These past few years have given me the experience, opportunities, and strength I needed to grow and become the person I am today. These college years, 18-22 years old, are the most influential in your life. You’re finally on your own and you’re learning everything you need to take with you to be an “adult” in the “real world”. It’s scary because everything you choose and every decision you make during these years is going to pave the way for your future and your life. The academics, the jobs, the clubs, the volunteer work, the relationships, everything.

As I look back on my time here, I am grateful for all the times I said yes and all the times I said no. Whether the decisions I made set me back or whether they pushed me forward. Even if the choices I made were difficult and painful. I have come to terms that everything that has happened here in the past four years, whether good or bad, has set me up for success in everything I do from here on out. I’ll give you some examples.

When I first entered Brockport I was undecided but eventually chose to apply to Brockport’s Athletic Training program. I knew very quickly that I didn’t want to be just an Athletic Trainer but regardless I stuck with the program because it could still lead me to physical therapy school. I’ve spent the past few semesters struggling with the course load and intense amount of clinical hours but I wouldn’t go back in time and change my major (even though it would save me a year’s worth of time and money). As I am applying to graduate school I realize that all the coursework I have completed is going to put me three steps ahead of my peers because I challenged myself. For this, I am thankful.

Pictured Above: The Athletic Training students freezing out in the cold at a lacrosse game, all dressed up for our Scholar’s Day presentations and a group photo from our end of the year banquet. 

As a freshman one day, I was sitting on Twitter when I saw that Brockport’s Habitat for Humanity Club tweeted that they needed to fill two spots in their upcoming trip to Flordia for a volunteer mission. As a young freshman, I wanted to be experiencing everything that life had to offer so I took a giant leap and drove down to Flordia, last minute, with a bunch of strangers to build houses for the less fortunate. It was an impulsive and scary decision but not only did I learn the importance of giving but what it is like to step outside your comfort zone. As a poor college student, you feel like you don’t have much yet to offer to the world. You aren’t technically educated yet, you have no free time on your hands and most likely you’re waiting for care packages from your family. It felt amazing to help by offering nothing but your time and dedication to somebody else. The experience just really helped me step back and understand the bigger picture. I grew up in a small, farming community. When you embark on a trip 1,150 miles away with 20 new people, you see how people have come from so many different backgrounds. Yet we all ended up at the same college and struggling through very similar situations. It took some time for me to understand that I am not the only one going through these difficulties and I am certainly not the first to fail or succeed. I’m so grateful for the opportunities Brockport offers.

Pictured Above: Group pictures from Habitat for Humanity Club’s 2016 trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

I think one of the hardest parts of the college experience so far has been finding the right friends, people who support you and care about you. Each year I’ve had a mixture of different roommates but I didn’t find my real friends until my junior year and luckily they’re my roommates and close friends this year. More than likely, you’ll attend a college much bigger than your high school. Which means there are so many new people to meet. Something that I struggled with was understanding that you might be friends with people for a little while before you realize that maybe they aren’t “right” for you. Whether they don’t have the same interests anymore, you grow apart, or maybe just life gets in the way. At the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you. If people in your life aren’t positively influencing your life anymore then it is ok to take a step back and start moving in a different direction. It is difficult because it may only be one-sided and you’ll have to start all over again. Of course, this applies to relationships too but that’s what college is for, trial and error. It may have taken me a while but I’m thankful for all the people I have in my life today.

Pictured Above: The best friends you’ll ever find. 

I am thankful for the SERC for not only employing me over the past four years but offering me a family away from home. I have grown to know and become friends with my fellow coworkers. It is a place I enjoy to be on campus.

I’m thankful for all the clubs I have participated in from Habitat for Humanity Club to Exercise Science Club and now Sports Medicine Club. I learned new things, I met new people and I kept myself involved in the Brockport campus.

I am thankful for all the mental breakdowns and days I wanted to give up because you can’t grow or adapt to stress without experiencing stress. Just like you can’t build muscular strength without stressing and microscopically damaging the muscle. (Forgive my anatomy analogy.) It takes courage and dedication to complete everything I have in the past four years. To say it was hard would be the understatement of the century. But regardless, I am so thankful because I know that I am mentally tough enough to handle anything that gets thrown my way in these next few years.

Lastly, I am grateful for all the fantastic food Brockport has to offer. Thank you Dunkin Donuts for offering the coffee to get me through a long day. Thank you to KFC for offering the cheapest meal a college student can get (A famous bowl, drink, and a cookie for less than $6 I mean come on). Thank you Wegmans for just being you; the most marvelous grocery story in the world. Thank you Jimmy Z’s for letting me kick back with my friends and enjoy a milkshake with a garbage plate any day of the week. Thank you Perri’s pizza for that huge slice after a long night out.

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