As classes at Ohio University wrap up in anticipation of Thanksgiving break, the beautiful weather and golden, falling leaves make one think of all the good things to be thankful for.
Angelina Strong, a freshman studying sociology, said she is thankful for her first-year friends.
"I'm thankful for the friends that I've made at OU, and the people and the connections that I've made, that keep motivating me to continue with academics and mental health," Strong said.
She also shared that she's looking forward to seeing her cat, Arlo.
The freshman-year transition can be difficult when being away from home, family, and pets for the first time. Good friends can make a big difference in one's attitude to this new lifestyle.
Charles Lester, an assistant professor of instruction for OU's Honors Program, shared how he is thankful this Thanksgiving for his family getting through the holidays without fighting.
"What I'm thankful for is that my wife and my daughters and I all get along and enjoy each other's company," Lester said. "My youngest is here at OU and my oldest just graduated from Temple. It's very easy for folks to be at each other's throats, but we just enjoy each other's company."
Ava Whitaker, a junior studying psychology, is originally from Saudi Arabia. She cannot go home for Thanksgiving break but plans on calling home and catching up with loved ones. When asked what she's thankful for, Whitaker shared the good fortune her family has received.,
"I'm thankful for my health and my family's health," Whitaker said. "My Grandma just had treatment for cancer, and now she's all good, so I'm really thankful for that."
Casadie DiBetta, a sophomore studying early childhood education, is excited to go home to St. Clairsville, Ohio, and she is also thankful for her family.
"I'm excited to see my family," DiBetta said, "We have a lot of fun family traditions we do, and me and my mom are cooking the meal, and a lot of my family's coming over to eat it."
Specifically, DiBetta shares the support she receives from her mom.
She's a very big supporter. And I'm always calling her, and I'm very thankful for her," DiBetta said.
Jolana Hurtos, a sophomore studying social work, kept it short and sweet.
"I'm thankful for kitties and the legalization of weed," said Hurtos.
Whether or not one celebrates Thanksgiving, looking for gratitude in the little things can paint the world in a brighter light and make every day a thankful, giving day.