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College Gratitude: things you didn’t appreciate till going to college

Sometimes it’s easy to live in a routine. And then suddenly you wake up one day and realize you’ve entered a whole new season of life. That’s how I felt entering the college campus for the first time. I basically had to relearn how to do life before it felt normal again (did I get lost getting to the bathroom again? When is the dining hall closed on weekends? Do printers exist here?) The journey along the way has been riddled with bruises, hiccups, and speedbumps, and while those aren’t fun to experience, they have altered how I view life at college. One way to persevere is to count blessings, so I’ve made a short list on what I’m grateful for as a college student.

  • Functioning washers. There’s nothing more thought provoking then descending numerous flights of stairs, walking down hallways and a labyrinth of doors to the washroom after waiting patiently for the laundry cycle to finish, but then realizing that the washer didn’t drain correctly and did, in fact, leave all your towels and fancy clothes soaking in water. Dryers are risky, better not bet on those again. So as you lug the three-times-heavier bag of sopping laundry to the elevator (don’t event think about the stairs) and cram in with other wearied students just as the doors are closing, you begin to wonder, “is there a better way?” Considering this question reassures me that daily lifestyle choices can always be improved.
  • Water pressure. Granted, college students take long showers. But how much of it is really our fault? Shaving, shampooing, conditioning, scrubbing and ultimately rinsing all take one very important ingredient: water. Students dry of, inwardly deceived that their shower is over. But then the squeaky feeling in the ears doesn’t disappear and our hair still feels like a tangled squishy glob of…soapy hair. Then it’s time to turn the faucet back on and try again and dry off now with a half-damp towel in hopes that next time we’ll figure out when we’re actually clean.
  • Earplugs. It really depends on where you live. Some dorms are filled with like-minded sleep lovers, and others are religiously nocturnal. Blame it on alcohol, riveting game days turned nights, or weekends, but some people rely on caffeine the next day (usually Monday morning) to keep them alive during class. Thanks to the naturally distilled circadian rhythm inside our cognitive functions, humans are actually capable of keeping steady and, get this, sustainable methods of living. Personally, I like to feel alive and clear headed on my way to classes, even if it takes some noise cancelling foam at night to block out extra noise. But it works, so I highly recommend it!

I’m sure the next life seasons will carry more unexpected surprises along the way, providing many opportunities to count blessings as they come.

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