Celebrating this all American holiday can leave international students at odds. While everyone around us is returning home to be with their families, our options are limited while all we really want to do is head home.
I found myself staying in the campus dorms as one by one people left for home or to travel for the break. My thanksgiving was spent with two lovely gentleman in my building and a home-cooked (albeit microwaved) meal.
The peace and quite with rare time to myself left me considering my thanks. I am extremely thankful for my family, especially the four gorgeous children who are waiting for me at home. I regularly exchange postcards with my niece, nephew and cousins so that I can hold on to a little piece of them while I'm away. Nothing brightens my week as much as those few words and drawings from those I love most in the world.
When things get rough and homesickness is creeping in, I am fortunate enough to have incredible friends who have supported me through so much. Whether they are here beside me in California or standing by me back home, I don't know what I would do without them. There's no need to name names, you know who you are. I can never thank you enough.
Finally, its impossible to consider what I'm thankful for without recognising where I am, and the opportunity I'm experiencing. After years of dreaming, hard work and determination, I landed in Long Beach for the year of my life. I try to take the time to take in everything around me and the things I'm lucky enough to be a part of.
Time has flown by. I can't quite believe how soon it is until I'm flying home to spend Christmas with my family. I've had so many great experiences so far in America, and there are even more to come in the new year. It's still hard to believe I'm really here. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.