Thanksgiving Break: Then and Now

As I senior I’ve felt very sentimental this semester. Last “First Day of School,” last football games, the last time I’ll walk to McMurran in the changing fall leaves. It’s been a very emotional year so far and it’s not even the end of the semester yet! Adding to my lists of lasts is my final Thanksgiving break home.

As I drove from Christopher Newport to Northern Virginia I thought back over my years. My first Thanksgiving taking the train from Newport News to Union Station in Washington, D.C., to making friends and carpooling home with them, to now driving back home on my own senior year.

It’s always a tough transition coming home your freshman year, you still have to follow the parent’s rules, but want to go out and see your friends, come and go as you please. Now as a senior I’m much more inclined to snuggle up on the couch and binge watch TV with my family than run around town. The biggest difference I noticed in myself from my freshman year to my senior year when coming home for Thanksgiving is my want to be with family. As we get older it’s really easy to simply want to go out and explore and get away from the nest, but after a summer interning in New York and a fall break cheering on the Tar Heels in a hurricane I found myself just wanting family time.

I drove back home mid morning and made it back ┬ábefore my family had returned from work and school, warmly greeted by my yellow lab Abby. My freshman year I would have just flopped on the couch to watch TV until they all got home, but I found myself cleaning up the kitchen, putting away the dishes, and cleaning up the living room, in addition to taking my bags to my room and staring laundry (all successfully on my own might I add). Freshman year I would’ve whined to my mom about how hard it is to do laundry on my own in the residence halls and begging her to just do my laundry for me, but I found myself cleaning up trying to make it easier for my mom when she got home from work. And that’s the difference I think. As an adult you shift from the mentality of what can they for me?, to asking what can I do for others?

This Thanksgiving, be kind, a take an extra minute out of your day to do something for someone you care about. A little kindness goes a long way, and as you get older family becomes much more valuable. So while your great-aunt Mary might be pinching your cheeks at the dinner table or your grandfather brings up opposing politics, spread the love and thanks and don’t forget about the little things.

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