EXCLUSIVE: Ten Things We’re Thankful For This Season

My Grandparents

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 9.11.22 AMI owe a lot to my father's parents. They allowed me to jump-start my career while living in their home rent-free. I stayed with them in Hazlet, NJ part-time while interning for Endless Vacation magazine in Manhattan for a few months in 2011 and and again full-time (furniture and all) while freelancing for redbankgreen.com from 2012-2013. Both of those instances were incredible learning opportunities that offered up a ton of invaluable journalism experience, and I got to spend a lot of quality time with two family members that mean the world to me. I love them very much.—DT

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My Job

IDP_logo-headerI am most thankful to have a job that is somewhat related to my degree and so close to my home. In this job market and area, I am lucky just to have a job, especially one that I don’t hate and one that allows me some creative freedom. Not too long ago, I used to work at Pathmark and while I miss the Pathmark family, the unfortunate closing of the store recently made me even more thankful for my current job.—CS

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Childhood Reading

Reading and writing have always gone hand-in-hand for me. If I hadn't developed a love of books at such a young age, I'm convinced that I wouldn't have picked up a pen in elementary school and discovered the magic of storytelling, thereby eliminating my future career as a writer. So I'll always be thankful that my mother read me bedtime stories and took me to story hour at the library, otherwise my life right now might look very different. My life was completely shaped by the books I loved as a kid. The best way to grow up, in my opinion, is to have your nose in a book and your eyes on the stars. I'm sure Cat concurs...—DT

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Books

books-and-heart-jpegI write about books a lot, but that’s because they are one of the best things in the world. I am so thankful to have the ability to read, with access to so many great libraries in the area and an endless supply of books from Barnes & Noble and Amazon just a click away. Possessing the opportunity to escape to another world while improving your vocabulary and grammar is priceless. I think one of the reasons why I am such a lover of reading is because my mom is, so I am thankful that she gave me the gift of being a book lover. I feel sorry for people who don’t read.—CS

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My College Education

LHU7224_LHU_TheHaven_REDI had an absolutely fabulous college experience. Are there some situations and choices that I regret, of course, but for the most part, I truly had a wonderful time. I'm so thankful that I have a Bachelor's degree to my name and an abundance of memories to last a lifetime. During my four years at LHU, I met amazing people and made incredible friends. I went on adventures. I laughed until my sides ached. I tried to experience as many things as possible: I lived in a dorm and also my first apartment, I joined the English Club, the literary magazine staff, the newspaper staff, our chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists, I interned at the local community newspaper, and I broke through my comfort zone as part of the Outing Club in which I rappelled off wall cliffs, climbed around muddy caves, went whitewater rafting through class V rapids, and tubed down the Susquehanna River. I took classes that I needed but also others that I wanted, like art history and drama. I had several groups of friends that I met through different activities. College isn't all about the academic education; it's about the betterment of yourself in all ways. I really feel like I did just that.—DT

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Good Health

imgresI am thankful that my family and I are blessed with good health. Being healthy is everything. It’s something that a lot of people take for granted until it’s gone. You only get one body, so it’s very important to put good things into it. Exercise is also so important—not even for weight loss, just for health. I know this is another area where I am lucky and I will try not to take it for granted.—CS

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Supportive Friends

11705349_10100428583876778_8513802011322999082_nI've made a lot of friends over the years from all different places: School, college, post-college, jobs. They all live far away, so the best part is that—even though I don't see them or even talk to them often—they're there when I need them. Whether it's by sending a little gift just because, offering career advice, or texting just to check in, it's the little things that matter when everyone leads such busy, scattered lives. I'm lucky to have them.—DT

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Disney

Walt-Disney-Screencaps-The-Walt-Disney-Logo-walt-disney-characters-31872968-2560-1440Thank you, Disney, for giving us a world of dreams and magic that we can access through our prized VHS tapes in our dinosaur VHS players until we’re lucky enough to pay way too much for a DVD once it is released from the magical Disney vault. Disney, you made my childhood and still continue to make my adulthood. You just never get old and provide a cozy, comfortable escape from the real world every time. I am so thankful and incredibly lucky to have grown up in the ‘90s, an especially magical time for Disney.—CS *Immediately leaves computer to start a Disney marathon.*

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Living At Home

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 3.24.58 PMIt's an ever-growing trend among college grads in my generation, but the truth of it is, we simply can't afford to live on our own in this economy while bogged down with student loan debt. I never thought I'd still be sleeping in the same bedroom as I did in high school at this stage of the game, but my career has had a very rough and erratic start and I just can't support myself yet. I'd feel worse about it if I didn't have a handful of friends in exactly the same boat. And it's not all bad. I'm very fortunate to have parents who are willing to let me stay home and save my money while paying "rent" at a far more reduced rate than I would in my own place. While it's personally frustrating, it's a financial relief, and for that I'm eternally grateful.—DT

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Hometown

2451People can diss the Slatington/Walnutport area all they want, but it was a great area to grow up in and is still a great area to live. If I want to go for a walk, I have so many options of beautiful trails just minutes away from where I live. It is a very unique place and every time I walk or ride my bike along the canal or any of the towpaths, I feel extremely lucky. Like any small town, this area is rich with history and still has so many beautiful, historical homes and buildings. Of course, there is a whole world outside of this area that I wish to see, but I am very grateful and thankful that this area is one of the places I see everyday.—CS

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