Giving Thanks Outside the Box

Sarah Arellano

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Every Thanksgiving, my family goes around the table and says what we are most thankful for. In those moments, I wish I could go back to eating my mashed potatoes and forget the question was ever asked. I am incredibly thankful for many things, but it’s  hard coming up with an answer that is not cliché. Unfortunately, cliché is all I’ve got, and as I hear other people’s answers, it’s all they’ve got, too. It’s  great to hear that people are thankful for their families, friends, jobs, and so on, but those answers, despite being very heart-warming, have become  overused.

Although this year was filled with several controversial topics and violence, there are certain things that I am thankful for. Of course, I’m thankful for family, friends, health, and so on. However, this year, unlike most years, I have decided to come up with a different answer to the question. I think that most cliché answers are too generic, so making an answer more specific can add more value to it. It’s similar to answering a question on a test, the more specific the answer is, the more points are rewarded. Therefore, this year, I am thankful for the following things:

People Who Procrastinate

Although I hate turning things in last minute, it’s bound to happen. I know what my priorities are, but big assignments tend to scare me. Therefore, I try to avoid the assignment as much as possible. This is not necessarily a bad thing; procrastination can pressure people to do their best work in a short amount of time. Yet, maybe I’m just excusing my behavior. Either way, I am thankful that other people understand procrastination and/or procrastinate, sometimes more than they would like to admit.

Sophomore Year

In all honesty, sophomore year is nothing compared to freshman year. Sophomores, in my perspective, are the middle children of high school. Most people acknowledge sophomores, but not much is done to help them. In addition to that, some sophomores start taking college-level courses, which are great, but incredibly demanding. To sum up, sophomore year is when you get a glimpse of the “real” world and are, in some ways, left to fend for yourself. Sophomore year, although somewhat challenging, has given me a chance to know what being a stereotypical middle child feels like and how to deal with problems that come my way.

My Non-Existent License

As a sophomore, people tend to think I have a license, which I do not. Granted, my birthday does not come up until next year, but I’m probably not going to get my license on my birthday. I took driver’s education and, thankfully, passed the exam. As my half-birthday came up, I told myself I was going to get my permit, but I never did. The good part about not having a driver’s license is that I can finish my homework or study in the car while my mom drives me to school. Considering I’m an open-enroll student, driving to school takes some time, so it gives me a while to rest or cram things in before school.


I’m not trying to say I don’t like the United States, because I do. However, with all the violence that has been going on and the questionable decisions people are making, Canada keeps getting more and more appealing. Plus, Justin Trudeau seems like a very nice person, and who wouldn’t love to learn a little French in Québec? Their universities, especially the University of Toronto, also have programs that I would love to enroll in. If the United States happens to encounter more problems, then taking the approximate 6 hour drive to Canada is very tempting for me.

Now that I have come up with different, hopefully not cliché answers, I can comfortably discuss with my family about what I’m thankful for. Even though some things might be unusual or are typically disliked, people can still find something in them to be thankful for, like sophomore year. So the next time you’re asked what you’re thankful for, pushing all cliché answers aside, what would you respond?

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