What’s the deal with Thanksgiving?

When you’re in elementary, middle or high school Thanksgiving is often just another holiday family gathering where you HAVE TO kiss or hug all the relatives you don’t even really know and answer all their intrusive questions. In college those same encounters happen but we’re adults (although we may not actually be nor are we treated like them),  yet nothing has changed. We get asked what we want to do with our life, are we being successful in every way, are we in a relationship, what are we doing after college, isn’t our parents so lucky to have us home, etc. The list goes on. It can be awkward and uncomfortable to deal with. If you have a huge family gathering with relatives you haven’t seen before or only every Thanksgiving why do they ask these questions about us? Don’t they remember when they were asked these same questions and have to stifle an eye roll “here we go again the same questions I don’t want to answer”. Do they really want to hear what’s up with us? Often a generic answer is good enough to deflect attention away so why do these interactions always come up?

In part, as college students we often don’t know what we want, how we’re doing, what we’re doing next nor want to explain it a bajillion times to each relative who’s just trying to make conversation. It’s not to say these questions aren’t important ones or meant to show an interest in family members but if you truly cared about these people (besides the elderly who can’t remember) you would already know the answers to these questions or spare us the wry fake smile and answers. Society has taught us we have to be nice and thankful during thanksgiving, lucky to be able to spend time with family when maybe large gatherings make us anxious, maybe we have a 10 page paper due by the end of the weekend, maybe all we really want to do is let loose and not think about school, the future and enjoy the weekend. This is not to say family gatherings are awful but I think everyone can relate to sometimes Thanksgiving is an especially tiring and enjoyable time. The end of semester is basically in sight behind all the papers, take-homes, presentations, lab reports, and exams and the past three months of the semester is catching up to us all we really want is a break.

Especially this thanksgiving I think its important to reaffirm our love and care for one another and in doing so, discuss meaningful things and relaxing times to get to re-know each other beyond the generic questions. Get back to the meaning of Thanksgiving (perhaps beyond its awful historical origins) but to give thanks.

What is something you’re thankful for?

What is something you’re proud about?

How can your family continue to support you?

Moving forward, what actions are you taking to live your values?

How can you express your care and love to your family and others?

What in the world concerns you?

What excites you in the upcoming future?

What did you really think of the food? (this may be a tough one lol)

Its difficult and scary to talk about these things but in doing so we can better understand each other and support each other. They are meant to start a dialogue to get to know our family and what that means to one another moving forward. Thanksgiving is a time for family to come together and support one another.

Happy Thanksgiving!



crew n. a team rowing together in a racing shell

When I came to Puget Sound I thought I knew what “girl” I wanted to re-make myself into, since you know it’s college, but that vision I had is not who I am today and I’m glad. I didn’t think I would end up joining a varsity sport in college, I mean I barely even played sports in high school (Marching band is kinda technically a sport, okay?) I don’t know what I was thinking going to a Crew interest meeting, but if I had any doubts, their promotional video sold me (yay Etan!!). And then learning to row/cox with the rest of the girls was amazing (shoutout to Betsy!!), I quickly became amazing friends with Becky & McKenna! Because crew isn’t a common high school sport, there is a novice/JV level of competition that we participated in during the fall season.

Then spring came, and although I initially worked with the novice women still, an opportunity opened up and I got moved up to the men’s varsity team as their second coxswain. It was a huge shock, despite the men’s and women’s team practicing at the same boathouse, I didn’t actually know the guys well. They were all big, strong guys with set ways about their practices. But it was an amazing opportunity and as they say, from amazing opportunities coming amazing success. I took every practice day by day, learning their workout plans, working with the coach, Allison who was so patient, helping me get used to the team. Day by day I learned more, became more comfortable and got to know the guys outside of practices. Our very first regatta, a scrimmage, I panicked really badly, but the guys stuck with me, keeping me focused and part of that team atmosphere  on race days. Each subsequent regatta was so much more amazing, more laughs, more wins, more of our hard work being put to the test. It was always about being better than the day before, reaching for that height of teamwork, hard work and trust on the water.

I think I now know what crew is, it’s much more than that definition at the top, it’s indescribable. I haven’t met and I doubt I will many another group of hard-working, team, derpy, fun, strong people. It hasn’t even been a week and I’m having crew withdrawals. The intense fitness, early hours, long bus rides and music loving nature of crew has led us to many good times and many times where our team has been there to pick us up. Thanks 2014 Crew Season for being amazing, I can’t wait until next year!

Team Photo