Masks. Extra cleaning. Sitting six feet apart in classes. The changes that have come as a result of COVID-19 could be cause for grumbling. But students at CSU have been cultivating thankful hearts in the midst of unusual circumstances. In fact, many students have taken this time as an opportunity to discover new blessings, as well as to see familiar ones with greater appreciation.
One student who has been focusing on thankfulness this semester is Laura Abbott, a Counseling major at CSU. After having to move to remote learning last semester because of the pandemic, she is very grateful to be back on campus again for her senior year.
Abbott says, “the everyday interaction of being around so many like-minded students, faculty and mentors is something that I will never stop being thankful for…The relationships, community, opportunities and atmosphere of campus are things I treasure a lot more than I ever did before.”
Abbott is involved in her residence hall, Thompson Hall, by serving as a resident assistant. She loves being on campus, as it allows her to deepen her relationships with the girls in her hall even more and to grow alongside them. As a Counseling major, Abbott says that she has had opportunities to put what she is learning into practice in both formal and casual settings on campus. She has also found mentors at CSU who have helped her to grow in her own faith as she ministers to others.
As she begins to wrap up her studies at CSU, Abbott has been thanking God for the “simple joys.” She says: “one way that I practice gratitude is to just thank God as I am sitting in classes, chapel or participating in things around campus, because I have realized that these are things that can easily be taken for granted, and I want to enjoy them to the fullest now.”
The changes of the past semesters have helped Abbott to change her perspective on life and to appreciate the good in every situation. She has been challenged to take advantage of the present and to get involved in every opportunity she can to serve others with a thankful heart now.
Abbott encourages others to slow down during this season and think about all that they have. “Often times, we take things for granted and don’t realize until we have lost them that they meant so much to us. Simply looking around and observing our own lives can make us realize how blessed we are, and that can give us a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude.”
By Taylor Stuck, Communications-Writing major