Well … Thanksgiving is over. Does that sound totally crazy to anyone else? I can't believe how fast time really can fly by. I can't believe Christmas is less than a month away, and even scarier, finals and graduation are just around the corner. But before we get carried away with studying, saying goodbye and the chaos that the holidays bring, I think it's important to linger on Thanksgiving for just a little bit longer, especially within these next few weeks.
One argument I hear again and again is that we all wish the holiday spirit stayed within us throughout the year. You know, that feeling of warmth and happiness, the comfort of a smiling stranger, the desire to give, and visions of sugar plum fairies. And that would be great; I am still that girl who is too excited to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, but what I don't understand is why we all move on from Thanksgiving so quickly. It seems as if Christmas cheer is already pretty long lasting, but the only Thanksgiving extensions past the final Thursday of November are the holiday sales that start the morning after.
Is one day really long enough to feel thankful for everything we have? (Especially when that one day is strongly focused on eating, football and early holiday shopping.) Would it be so hard to take a few minutes every day to stop and think for a moment about all the things in our lives that we can be grateful for?
These last few weeks before break are filled with stress, anxiety, anticipation and excitement. Of course it sucks that finals are close enough to slap us in the face, but at the same time, we are pretty lucky that we have been given the opportunity to learn material worth being tested about. And while studying and pulling all-nighters is never fun, doesn't it feel good when you finally understand it? So before we get all annoyed and stressed out about our exams, stop and be grateful that we have this opportunity – that we are intelligent, that we can push ourselves and achieve our goals, and that some of us can even manage to pass a class without actually attending it.
Aside from cramming for finals, it is also time to prepare for the holidays. And while the holidays do provide us all with an anti-Scrooge spirit, it can be so easy to get lost in the moment and forget to take everything in. To be thankful for the people in our life, those whom we know, love and can't live without. To appreciate the time and effort put in by the city of Fort Collins in hanging up the decorations that make Old Town feel warm and look beautiful. To honor the soldiers overseas who can't be with their families and to cherish our time at home for them. To take advantage of the Christmas spirit and remember to give thanks along with everything else.
Finally, to those about to graduate, remember everyday to be grateful for your time spent at Colorado State University. Whether CSU was your first choice or your safety choice back when you applied, it became a part of your life and has helped to prepare you for whatever lies ahead. Be thankful for the education, the stress, the life-changing lessons, and even those random "filler" classes. Never forget the feeling of that first amazing (and sometime lucky or unexpected) grade. Never forget the time you bombed a test because you went out the night before but also having the sensation of knowing it was worth it. Always remember to be grateful for the faculty and staff that helped get you this far. Always remember the friends you made, the memories you created, the laughter and love you experienced. Be thankful for the college student in you, and never let that go.
Time does fly by, and yes – life is too short. So remember to take the time to reflect on life, to appreciate it for everything we can, to celebrate every moment. For it's never too late to begin a Thanks-Living.
Kelly Hagenah is a senior speech communications major. Her column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.