My life currently revolves around classes, part-time and unpaid internships, leadership positions on campus, and volunteer work. While everything I’m doing is something I want to do, it is oh-too-easy to get swept up into everything, become overwhelmed, and forget what is truly important. Occasionally, the relationships I have with friends and family fall to the wayside because of a test I have to study for or an essay I have to write… or the fact that I have to drive four total hours to and from Los Angeles for my internship that day. I can get frustrated, and I often see my friends feeling the same emotions: anxiousness, discontentment, and irritation.
Photo: Meagan Donovan
Thankfully, the world gives us so much to be thankful for. It is important to focus on the positive things in life that bring us joy. While my internship is far away, I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn and gain experience. Although I am taking eight difficult classes, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, as many other people in the world do not have that access. While there are days that I am exhausted, I am grateful that I get to come home to warm blankets, food stocked in the fridge, and a roof over my head.
I am grateful for my friends who check in on me, even when their lives are a little bit crazy too. I am grateful for my family who supports and loves me, even when I am in over my head. I am grateful for new music and new movies. I am grateful for books that make my brain believe I am somewhere else, and I am grateful for art that makes my heart soar. I am grateful for sports and I am grateful for new scientific discoveries and successful SpaceX launches. I am grateful for all of the constantly improving technology that betters the lives of others. I am grateful that the internet gives me the ability to talk to my friends who are across the country or across the world.
I could go on for pages about what I am grateful for, but the point is that there is always something around you to be thankful for. Gratefulness will calm you down and give you peace, and it will remind you that no matter how hectic the world around you may seem, it’s not all bad—not even close. There are small things too: I am grateful that I can afford to buy shoes. I am grateful that I have access to clean water. I am grateful for hugs and smiles on the street, and I am grateful for human development and connection.
In such a fast-paced and chaotic world, our emotions and the things that are truly important in life typically take a back seat to deadlines, meetings, and routines. With the news on blast 24/7, the world can seem like a scary place. In the technology era, we have access to anything we want at the click of a button. Surprisingly, we live in the most peaceful time in history. More people than ever are literate and have access to medicine and other basic resources. While humans have plenty to work on, we have come far since the beginning. There is always something to be thankful for.
My name is Meagan Donovan and I’m a 20-year-old junior at Chapman University in Southern California. I am a public relations/advertising major with an entrepreneurship minor, emphasizing my studies in the entertainment industry. I have been performing since I was in third grade and I love writing my own songs, playing guitar, dancing, and acting.