Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It involves pumpkins, autumn weather, crunchy leaves and time with family. However, I love it because it is the very best time to give thanks for all of the wonderful things in life. This year, our blogging team wanted to share what we are most thankful for this fall. Here are our responses to a very Thanksgiving-themed question: As a Princeton student, what are you most thankful for this year?
I'll begin by saying that this year, I am most thankful for the supportive community that I have found here at Princeton. I will be traveling home for Thanksgiving for the first time while at Princeton, but I am so grateful that I truly feel that Princeton is my second home. As a senior, there has been a lot to juggle between my classes, thesis and other important life decisions. I am most thankful for my friends and community here who support and encourage me. It makes me incredibly grateful to realize that, over my four years here, I have become close with so many professors, community members and mentors who have advised and encouraged me. And I have many dear friends who will continue to make me smile and be there for me—all well beyond graduation. On another note, I am thankful to live on Princeton's gorgeous campus, especially given how beautiful it has been this fall with the changing leaves and wonderful weather!
Avaneesh Narla '17: "I am most thankful for my senior thesis adviser, Ned Wingreen, professor of molecular biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, with whom I also wrote my junior paper and conducted summer research. I have really been enjoying my senior thesis, and I have been learning a lot about how to do investigations in science and ask questions in general. Ned has been extremely supportive and gives me continuous feedback, and I don't know how smooth the process would be if it were not for him!"
Jordan Brown '19: "I'm most thankful for the sheer amount of opportunities Princeton offers, especially in terms of opportunities abroad. Princeton fully funded both my Spanish class I took in Toledo, Spain, as well as my internship in Abomey-Calavi in Benin, West Africa. It's great to be able to try so many of the events, classes and internships available to us as students."
Briana Pagano '18: "I’m thankful for Princeton’s ever-changing sky: for cotton candy clouds, sunset silhouettes and for the Gothic spires that guide my gaze toward midnight’s maps of constellations. I’m thankful that, even as a junior, I still can't help but look up and get lost."
Kevin McElwee '17: "I'm thankful for all the travel that I've done with the Glee Club, and the friends I've made because of it! Because of the generosity of alumni, we've been able to sing beautiful music all around the world."
Peyton Lawrenz '19: "Although I won't be able to travel home for Thanksgiving (there are no direct flights to New Mexico!), I reflect on missing such a valuable holiday with my family, I am overwhelmed by the incredible sense of "home" that I have found here at Princeton. Having received several offers from friends to spend Thanksgiving with their respective families, in this season of gratitude, I am reminded how much I value the kindness and generosity of the communities that I have found at Princeton."
Serena Zheng '17: "This year, I'm most thankful for my friends! After almost nine months away from campus (between studying abroad and the summer), above all else, I was so, so happy to see my friends. Before we graduate and disperse into in the real world, I'm excited to spend one more year with them, laughing, crying, learning and adventuring with the people who have made Princeton my home."
Michelle Greenfield '18: "I am most thankful for the Center for Jewish Life (CJL) community that I've been part of for the past three years. Anytime I walk into the building, I am instantly greeted by many familiar faces, and I always know that if I'm looking for a friend or need help on homework, someone will be there for me. The CJL has provided me with leadership opportunities, learning experiences, genuine conversation and most importantly, lifelong friendships that I cherish each and every day."
Kevin Wong '17: "As a senior, I'm particularly thankful this year for all the ways Princeton has changed me. Four years here has made my thinking sharper, my world wider and my life richer. I'm grateful for the extraordinary experiences Princeton has afforded me as a writer, a budding academic and an aspiring policymaker. The University's generosity with both its financial and human resources is like nowhere else in the world, and I'll sorely miss this place once I leave!"