In the opinion pages, as in life, it’s easy to fall in the cycle of complaining and criticizing as much as possible, but seeing as Thanksgiving is two days away, we step back and take time to reflect on the good things in our lives and what we are thankful for.
We’re thankful that we can attend a university, and attend a university with so many resources, talented professors, groundbreaking researchers and an administration that continuously seeks to funds to improve our educational experience. Along those lines, we give thanks for having a presidential debate (and all the excitement and TV shows that come along with it) on campus. We are also glad that we had a presidential election without the stress of hanging chads and we already know who is getting inaugurated in January.
Despite our frequent criticisms, we’re also thankful for having a Student Government, and one that is relatively large and thus representative, where our president hasn’t been impeached in recent memory and where things like Napster and a Thanksgiving airport shuttle get accomplished for the student body.
Also on campus, we’re thankful for the Wellness Center, as we came to realize how much we missed it when it was closed for a few short days during the debate. We also appreciate having the Starbucks by the Richter Library, which has given us a new place to socialize and has made our mornings more tolerable with new levels of coffee and cake. In fact, we give thanks that we’re able to have that coffee and cake and don’t have to worry about where our next meal will come from.
We’re thankful that the Homecoming Executive Committee made changes to Homecoming so that it now lasts one week instead of three, which allows more alumni to attend the events and makes for a more exciting parade and Hurricane Howl.
We’re thankful for Greek life on campus, and not just because the fraternities and sororities have parties, but also because they carry out part in community service activities, raise money for important causes and take part in student organizations and leadership roles on campus.
We’re thankful for the Butler Volunteer Services Center and all the charitable, volunteer activities that go on at UM, from Locks of Love to Up ’til Dawn to Habitat for Humanity, that make students better people and help improve our community.
We’re thankful for the Ring Theater and its top-notch productions and for Quantum Entertainment’s plays and musicals that give non-theater majors an opportunity to audition and participate in shows.
Freshmen should give thanks that they are able to bring their cars and park on campus, unlike in other schools, and everyone with a car should be grateful that they could afford it.
In sports, we’re thankful that our football team still has a shot at a BCS bowl, that Brock Berlin has put up huge numbers that may earn him the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award, and, of course, that we were still able to beat FSU. We are also grateful that we still have college baseball season to look forward to.
We’re thankful for the Red Sox coming back 0-3 to beat the Yankees in the ALCS and go on to sweep the Cardinals in the World Series so that we can say we lived when the Curse of the Bambino was broken.
In entertainment, we’re thankful that we’re able to spend Halloween night in the Grove. We give thanks for having Fantasy Fest in Key West and Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando, both just a four-hour drive away.
We’re thankful that we got to live the excitement of hosting MTV’s Video Music Awards in Miami. We’re glad that the Source awards didn’t get out of control, and we appreciate that Miami’s Fashion Week gets bigger every year.
This semester in particular, we’re very thankful that hurricane season is finally over, even though the names of Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne will always trigger lockdown and shutters memories.
And, as we go home for the long weekend and wish we could stay there until January, and we come back complaining about the last week of the semester and final exams, it will do us well to be thankful that the temperature in November in Miami hovers around 72˚ F.