Happy Thanksgiving season, everyone! Whether you are already in the mood to listen to Christmas music or are holding off until after the turkey, we can all agree that Thanksgiving is a time to get together and reflect on what we are grateful for. It seems like a common trend, especially towards the end of the semester, to continuously complain and dwell on what is going wrong. Trust me, I’ve been there. But what if we decided to change the narrative and instead focus on the great things that are happening on and off campus?

For starters, we get to call Furman our home. We readily have access to endless meals, lake walks, and laughs with friends. In the midst of increased stress and clouded joy, we tend to lose sight of all the amazing opportunities open to us just by virtue of being students here. Between the incredible academics, clubs, extracurriculars and organizations, we are lucky enough to have plenty of options that help determine what we are passionate about and, hopefully, could pursue post-graduation!

We also live in Greenville. How cool is that? I am always proud to call this place my home…especially as a self-described foodie. I mean, come on, from Green Fetish to Biscuit Head, there are plenty of delicious food options near campus. My personal favorite when I need an extra reason to be grateful — Ink n Ivy.  I also love exploring the sights of Greenville, like Paris Mountain and Falls Park. Even on the drive to Furman, witnessing the mountains crest over the top of the road is a stunning sight to see.

And while Greenville truly has it all, let’s not forget about Travelers Rest! A bike ride down to Tandem Creperie or Sidewall Pizza always hits the spot, and every Thursday there is a farmer’s market where you can buy local produce! Where else can you be so close to such a quaint area with lots of shops and fun restaurants while still feeling such a strong sense of community off campus?

Looking back on this semester, I could not be more grateful for all the opportunities we have gotten. For example, the homecoming fair was nothing short of incredible! Although COVID put a damper on last year, I hope it has made us all recognize and appreciate the many blessings we have, and moreover remind us that nothing should be taken for granted.

So with the season of thanks upon us, I challenge you to consider what you are most grateful for at Furman. It could be something as big as having football games and tailgates back in-person, or perhaps something as small as the fact that you can grab Starbucks quickly right on campus before heading to class. Whatever it may be, Furman is full of so many amazing things that we can be thankful for. So, although the work may seem to pile up in the next few weeks, exams might appear more daunting, and it becomes easier and easier to complain, let us all take a look outside our windows and soak up the sweetness of what we are offered as Furman students. And maybe once you do that, you can go grab a bite in Traveler’s Rest for a study break — the possibilities are endless if we simply take time to realize that!