Remembering to Give Thanks by Natalie McIntyre
As Thanksgiving approaches as well as a much-needed break before the whirlwind of finals begins, I’m once again reminded to reflect, regain a bit of perspective, and be thankful. My first semester of grad school has proved to be everything everyone said it would be and much more. My courses have been way more fascinating than I could have expected, but also way more challenging. The busyness of trying to balance classes, homework, apprenticeship duties, and just life in general can often create feelings of just barely staying afloat. With that said, I couldn’t be more thankful for where this path has led me, how much I’ve grown, and the incredible people I’ve met.
One thing I’m thankful for is getting to call myself a student at Baylor University in the HESA program. A year ago, I was very unsure about what the future held, but felt pulled to continue in the direction of higher education. After working for a couple years at by alma mater, I left the job I loved, and knew I was ready embrace growth and apply to grad school. I spent the spring semester teaching English in Central America, anticipating what the future held. When I learned of my acceptance into the HESA program at Baylor, I knew it was exactly where I should be. A few months after that, I packed up my belongings and made the 1,000-mile journey from Phoenix to Waco.
This semester has most certainly been challenging, but it is the people I have gotten to know that have brought so much support and have made it such a fun experience. Not having been to Waco before, I felt welcomed with open arms to this new state, city, and school. My professors and cohort peers are a mix of incredible people that I feel challenged and encouraged by every day. I love that each member of our cohort brings a unique perspective to our classes, and am thankful for the support we have for one another in and out of the classroom. Through the highs and lows, I’m thankful to go on this grad school journey with these fun and incredibly intelligent people!
I really could go on and on about the change this year has brought and how thankful I am for where I am today. When life gets busy and difficult, it’s easy to get so caught up in the next assignment, work project, and just the next thing that feels all-consuming. But as I get a bit of perspective, step back from seeing all the individual trees and get a glimpse of the forest, I’m reminded of how all the pieces fit together. This leads me to thankfulness and I am so excited to see what the next year brings.