Opinion: Be thankful for friends and family, not physical possessions

Relationships with loved ones are more important than material things, something that’s made more evident than normal during Thanksgiving.


By AJ Boulund

Ally Pronina, Columnist

What are you thankful for? This is a question we get asked every Thanksgiving. It is easy to think of material things such as phones or laptops, but what about friends and family?

Twenty years from now, whatever technology you currently use probably won’t be with you anymore. It will get broken or replaced. Friends and family will stay with you for years. They cannot be replaced as easily as technology.

It’s easy for us to complain as college students. We’re juggling seemingly never-ending schoolwork with work and other aspects of an adult life. We seem to have no time for eating, sleeping, and other necessary activities. We want to have a mental breakdown every five seconds but don’t have time for one.

Who will tell you to eat, sleep, and take care of yourself? Who will remind you to be proud of yourself for doing your best? Who will listen to your mental breakdowns and tell you it will all be OK? More than any physical possession, friends and family are there for us.

I’m thankful for friends and family who see nothing but the best in me, even when I don’t see it myself — who are always there for me and who love me just the way I am.

I’m thankful for family members who never say no to Skyping me from home, who go on summer evening walks, and who are always more than eager to read my writing.

I’m thankful for friends who get lunch with me every week, and who genuinely care about what’s going on in my life.

More than any physical possession, friends and family are there for us.

Really, I could go on and on about the gratitude I have for the people in my life. This would be even if I did not have a smartphone or laptop. The people in my life bring me more joy than technology.

While at home a couple weekends ago, I was not on my phone much in order to spend time with family. The next weekend, I went out with friends for square dancing and dinner. Again, I was not on my phone much.

In both these instances, I didn’t miss my phone. I enjoyed being around friends and family instead of plugged into technology. I’m thankful to have people in my life who make forgetting my phone a piece of (pumpkin) pie.

Don’t spend Thanksgiving break complaining and plugged in. Power down the technology and spend your precious time with the people in your life. Instead of complaining about whatever it is your siblings did this time, say you love them. Instead of complaining about feeling lonely in college, get together with your hometown friends.

Make sure to have meaningful conversations with your loved ones. Make memories and have experiences with them a computer screen can not give. As corny as it sounds, I promise showing thankfulness toward the people in your life will fill your soul with joy. Make time for people who will make you come back from break and wonder why there was to complain about.