For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, this can be a crazy time of year. The week is packed with tight travel schedules, huge family reunions, and enormous amounts of cooking. However, in the midst of all of these busy gatherings, it’s important to also take some time to think about what we’re all thankful for, something that I personally don’t do nearly enough. So, in the spirit of the holiday, I’ve created a list of some of the things I’m most thankful for at Whitman. This is by no means a complete collection, as there are way too many things to fit in a blog post, but I’ve given it my best shot.
- My Professors: This is one that I can’t stress enough. Throughout my first five semesters here at Whitman, I’ve had so many incredible professors. Not only are they super knowledgeable and intelligent, but they’re also very friendly and approachable people. In fact, just this week, I had the chance to meet with my Classics professor one-on-one for over an hour. We were mostly talking about my recent essay, but we ended up speaking on lots of different topics relating to Classical Greece and having some fascinating conversations. I’ve had similar experiences in other classes, and I’ve found that professors are more than happy to meet to discuss essays, class, or basically anything. Moments like that make me feel really lucky to be at Whitman.
- The Whitman Campus and the Grounds Crew: Whitman’s campus never fails to amaze me. In every season, it’s simply gorgeous, whether it’s the flowering trees of the spring or the bright yellow leaves of the fall. I love studying and reading outside whenever I get the chance, especially next to College Creek, which runs through the entire length of campus. Of course, none of this would be possible without our amazing grounds crew. They’re outside every day, putting new plants in the ground, raking up fallen leaves, and making sure that all of our trees stay healthy. Because of them, the entire Whitman community gets to enjoy these beautiful 117 acres, and I am very thankful for everything they do.
- Free Events and Programs: There’s never a dull day here at Whitman. It seems like there’s always something going on, whether it’s a concert, a lecture, a theatrical production, or an athletic event. Seriously, there’s always so much happening here, and it’s basically always free. There are a lot of people to thank for that: W.E.B. (the Whitman Events Board) is an awesome organization that puts on a lot of these programs, but many events are also sponsored by clubs, academic departments, or Interest Houses. A lot of these events are educational, which gives students the chance to learn about something outside of their own classes or own field of study. However, lots of them are also just fun social events, which can be just the thing you need after a long day of school work. With so much going on, it’s hard to get bored!
- On-Campus Resources: College can definitely be overwhelming and stressful at times, but the good news is that Whitman has so many places and people that are here to help. There’s the Counseling Center, the Academic Resource Center (ARC), the Center for Writing and Speaking (COWS), as well as several others, in addition to the Resident Assistants in every dorm. With such a wide-ranging support system, there’s almost always someone able to help you with the challenges of college, and I’m incredibly thankful for all the people who keep these resources up and running.
- The Campus Culture: This ties into many of the things I’ve already mentioned, but I’m just generally thankful for the student life and campus culture that we have here at Whitman. Since the college is relatively small, everyone tends to see each other a lot more often, which creates a more welcoming and inclusive vibe. This also makes it a bit easier to meet new people, since you might see them in class, and then in the library, and then again in the dining hall. I’ve actually made a lot of close friends this way, and it just feels really good to be surrounded by people who know you and care about you. Also, as I said before, with so many events and programs happening, it’s really easy to get involved in something, and then meet a whole new group of people.
There are obviously many more things that I’m thankful for about Whitman, and this is just a quick overview. There are so many special things about this place, and I think that if you’d ask any other student here, you would get a unique list of answers. What about Whitman are you thankful for?