November marks the beginning of the season of joy, celebration and reunion. As people gather around with family and friends around a table to celebrate Thanksgiving, we are reminded to pause, stop and look around at what we have in life. Thanksgiving inspires all of us to thoughtfully reflect and give thanks to the people, events and circumstances that have helped shape us.
As a first year, this will be my first Thanksgiving away from home, and by home, I mean Singapore (some 9,394 miles). While it’s definitely WAY too far for me to fly back home in the short span of 5 days, I’m thankful I have the opportunity to fly to California this year to escape some of Boston’s cold and reunite with family friends on the other side of the country. Although I won’t be drinking cider and enjoying turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes with my mom, my dad & my sister, I do want to continue a family tradition that we play every year around the dinner table: Thankful Thoughts.
The concept of the game is simple. There are 30 categories of words and sentence starters to choose from representing the 30 days in November. Growing up in a family of four, each of us used to take turns and say 7-8 things we were thankful for. This year, I’ve decided to put a spin on it and make a “Thankful Thoughts at Tufts” edition. I hope you enjoy it.
Thankful Thoughts: Tufts Edition
Category 1: Home
During the first few weeks of college, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to find my community. I was even more scared that I wouldn’t be able to feel “at home” in the New England environment. To my Singapore Indonesia Malaysia Student Association (SIMSA), thank you for welcoming me with open arms, for keeping me warm and grounded, for the home cooked meals, the kaya toast, the bubble tea and, of course, the milo.
Category 2: Family
While I’m extremely grateful for my immediate family back home in Singapore and Malaysia, it would be wrong if I didn’t recognize the new family that I made here at Tufts. To my Houston Fourth Floor family, thank you for the movie nights, the comfort when things got dark, the 2AM conversations about things bigger than us, the cram study sessions in the common room, and Room 432. You know who you are.
Category 3: Adventure
Recently, the Club Volleyball team had our first tournament of the season in Hoboken, New Jersey. I had one of my favorite adventures of my lifetime with the team as we traveled in a 12-person van blasting throwback songs on a four hour drive. To my team, thank you for the spontaneity, for making my first USA volleyball tournament so special, for the numerous songs & tunes that are now stuck in my head, and for the slumber party shenanigans.
Category 4: Made Me Smile
This month, I discovered Hodgdon’s Bagel Bar. It made me smile, that is all.
Category 5: Faithful Friends
Although there are too many people I could thank in this section, from High School pals to new friends here at Tufts, I want to take the time to say thank you to my faithful friends, literally. I’m grateful for being able to share my Sunday evenings with you guys during mass in Goddard Chapel. My Catholic faith has been a really big part in shaping my journey through life, and I’m glad I can continue this journey at Tufts with you guys.
Category 6: Simple Joys
Phil Dunphy once said, “Watch a sunrise at least once a day”, but I think it should be the exact opposite: watch a SUNSET at least once a day. Every now and then, Tufts has the most insane sunsets that literally take my breath away. As the days get shorter in the winter, I appreciate when the Boston skyline is able to pause and hold a magical transition from mid-afternoon to darkness.
Category 7: Miscellaneous
There are so many other things that I could say right now as my heart is so full of love for my campus and everything that has happened thus far in my first semester, but there are only so many words I can type in one go. Here are a few more things that I’m extremely grateful for at the moment though: my painting class, my Spotify playlists, Late Night at the Commons, my roommate, the very rare Sunny Days we have on campus, and honey mustard from Carm. It’s all of these little things that add up and make my experience here at Tufts so special.