Thanksgiving came and went, but for many, it was hard to find things to be grateful for; it felt like another Thursday in a year that will live in infamy.
With a pandemic that has taken over a million lives and countless livelihoods, a core national division over matters of basic human decency and an ongoing environmental crisis that somehow seems to be the last thing on our leaders' minds, it’s hard to find much to be thankful for in 2020.
This year has made it hard to celebrate in the typical sense. Instead, we need to look inward at the little things that make life worth living.
It's hard to be thankful for much while the future is left uncertain. But remembering the little things is the only thing that will help us return to something resembling "normal" life after this pandemic ends, however long that may take.
As the holidays approach, the things we would usually take for granted in a pre-COVID-19 world are some of the most important things to hold onto. Be thankful for inside jokes you share with your roommates, that new Netflix show everyone’s been binging lately or lazy days with your pet, who loves you unconditionally.
Take it from biology junior Fatima Nguyen:
“I’m thankful for my friends because quarantine was really lonely. Having game nights via Zoom and Netflix watch-parties make it a lot better because I realize I’m not going through it alone.”
Or adjunct professor Lauren Felter, who said:
“It’s been very difficult to remain positive in a year filled with so many setbacks, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to slow down and reflect. It’s easy to feel happy when you’re rushing around from place to place. It takes more effort to be happy just sitting still — I’m still working on that.”
The little comforts in my life are things I was already used to doing before this pandemic began. Now that life has slowed down, I have time to reflect and be thankful. For example, my weekly trip to the comic book shop with my roommate — and our tangent-filled conversations therein — is a simple, reoccurring reminder of something I truly love and the person I share it with.
My evenings as a college student are no longer filled with parties and meeting new people but fostering deeper relationships with the few I see daily, including my roommates and our small circle of friends. Until this pandemic, I hardly thought of how important these people are to me, but seeing them every day reminds me of how thankful I am for their presence.
As Louisiana returns to Phase 2 regulations, it looks like we will be in this pandemic well into the new year. Moving ahead, find little things to take comfort in: socially-distanced walks on campus while you listen to a new podcast, late-night conversations with that special someone or movie nights where you watch all the classics you’ve never seen.
Be thankful for those in your life and the little things they do for you.
Sometimes it's the things we hardly give any thought to that make life worth living, especially with all that 2020 has thrown at us.
Domenic Purdy is a 19-year old journalism sophomore from Prairieville.