Last year around Thanksgiving I wrote a post titled ‘8 Reasons I’m Thankful For Oxy.’ I decided to write a sequel to this post, as it is a full year later and I find new reasons to love this school every day. Also because I lost count of blog posts I made around #20 and I am running out of ideas at this point. But pretend you didn’t hear that part.
1. Marketplace Cashiers. Thank you for checking my balance every week, even though we both know I didn’t spend more than $5, and also for not making fun of me every time I drag a new first-year or sophomore with loads of meal-plan money to the register with me. You laugh every time it happens, but I think you’re laughing with me. I think.
2. Living Off-Campus. This is not to say that I was not thankful for the three years I got to spend living on-campus, but having the opportunity to live at a house within walking distance of campus (although some of my friends would argue against that) has been one of the greatest experiences. To spend all day on-campus going to class and doing work, only to come home to three friends and a cat who keep me grounded and relaxed, makes it all worth it. We may not have air, or heat, or a dishwasher, or a washing machine…but we do have a lot of love and laughs and probably an entire Trader Joe’s warehouse in our kitchen.
3. Preparation For Post-Grad. Well, maybe not preparation in the "steady income" field, but definitely preparation for how to be a functioning, intelligent human. Sure, I may not immediately get right to where I want to be. And I probably won’t make enough money to buy that animatronic therapeutic seal for my roommate. But I do know that the education I have received here is invaluable. I know how to articulate myself and ask for what I want. I can be placed into any situation and feel out the space to adjust my own behavior. I can be diplomatic and honest. No, I cannot give you a detailed account of the Revolutionary War, nor do anything even remotely related to Physics, but I know my own strengths and how to use them to my advantage.
4. Quad Pugs. Oxy's campus is flooded with residents in the neighborhood who regularly go on walks, often with their kids, but most frequently with their dogs. Wow, so many dogs. My personal favorite are the pugs, of which there are many as of recent. I look forward to the days that I walk through the quad and a pug runs up and hugs my leg. Makes it all worth it.
5. New York Times. Should I read the news more? Yes. Do I have an excuse not to, as we get the New York Times delivered to campus for free every day? No. But am I thankful that I get access to that crossword puzzle? Ohhhh yeah. And if you’re stuck on today’s puzzle, whatever day you’re reading this, the answer is probably ‘OLEO’.
6. Branca Family Patio. The Big BFP. When you’re here, you’re family. And family means always sharing the salt shaker.
7. Speed Bumps. I have always had this irrational fear that my car is very poorly made and will break down if it endures anything more extreme than a pebble to the windshield, but thanks to the speed bumps and dips in the roads on Oxy’s campus I know that my car will absolutely survive upwards of an 11.0 magnitude earthquake.
8. The People. I feel like I talk about this every time I write a blog post, but I cannot stress enough how thankful I am for the people I have met on this campus and continue to meet every single day. The students are involved beyond belief. They are educated and willing to keep learning. They are the most intelligent and informed group of people I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with. Sure, there are downsides to having such a small student body. However, being able to see what every individual is dedicating their time to is so inspiring. It makes me wish I could get to know everyone. I look at students creating beautiful pieces of art for gallery openings in the Green Bean. I look at students fighting gentrification in Highland Park. I look at students organizing entire movements, holding workshops on race, identification, and intersectionality. It drives me crazy that I will never get to know all of these people. They have all taught me so much already, whether directly or not, and yet I know that there is so much left for me to learn. And most of them may never know the impact that they have had on me. I wish I could spend another four years here just to thank people. The communities and friendships that I have become a part of, and those that I have seen flourish from afar, are the reasons that I can’t leave. You may hear me joking about failing my senior comprehensive project for the sake of staying an extra year, but know that there is a hint of truth every time I do. I know that Oxy is not perfect, and I know that we have a long way to go to make it as positive of an experience as it was for me for everyone, but my peers have taught me things that no professor ever has, and for that I am so thankful.
Well, that concludes my belated Thanksgiving post. I hope everyone has a successful final exam week and an even more successful Hanukkah (translation: many latkes)!