What Are You Thankful For?

Written on 1:41 PM by Xavier Career Development

Ah, November. The universal sign that fall is drawing to a close, and winter is not far away. November allows us to indulge in pumpkin pie, raking piles of leaves just to jump back into them, and the best part of the month: Thanksgiving dinner. A famous holiday tradition, and one that occurs in my house every year, consists of everyone going around the table stating what they are thankful for before we dig into our meal. Although we may want to just state something general like “my family,” or “the food on this table,” we can take the next few weeks before we go home to really think about our answer.

We students here at XU are so lucky for a number of reasons. On a daily basis, we tend to go through the motions and don’t give them any thought. We get up, go to class, grab a bite to eat, then either head to our jobs or sit down and do our homework. Even though we all have our own routines, there are so many people that can be thanked throughout all these processes- and so many different places and things to be thankful for!

Let’s break this down: let’s start with the first and foremost reason we are all here, to attend class and transition into a career. Just like we get up and mentally prepare ourselves for a day full of lectures, our professors do the same thing! They dedicate themselves to us before, during, after class, and sometimes even on the weekends. Don’t be afraid after your lecture as you walk past your professor just to say “Thank-you!” Trust me when I say they are probably not expecting it, and will most definitely help make their day a little brighter.

So we’ve had a day full of classes and now we head back to our dorms or apartments. We enter a room that has been swept as well as a bathroom that has been cleaned and filled with supplies. The next time we are in our room at the same time as the cleaning staff, feel free to just ask “How is your day going so far?” A little conversation started goes a long way and shows you aren’t taking their service for granted.

Mentors, both those through the Xavier Mentoring Program and ones we have collected over time on our own, are other friendly faces here at Xavier that are looking out for us and genuinely have our best interests at heart. When you meet with your mentor, instead of feeling as if it is another component of your busy day, try to use active listening! Active listening is more than just nodding your head and answering questions. Active listening shows you really are taking to heart the advice your mentor is giving you. An example of this would include responding to your mentor with “That is really great advice!” or “I agree, thanks for the suggestion!” A handwritten thank-you note is also a classic method to deeply show your gratitude for their time and efforts they have spent with you.

So in summary, although Thanksgiving Day may be the primary time where we express what we are grateful for, don’t be shy to let those who matter in your life know that they do so! All for one and one for all never fails!

Behind the bowl of mashed potatoes,
Jenny Mendoza