The Gratitude Countdown

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I have five days left. Five days until freedom and the next chapter, whatever that may hold.

The nearness of the end has made me reflect on the last year—and the last four years. It occurs to me how much I have to be thankful for.

Tonight my mind turns to my roommates. Not just the ones I’ve had this year, but all of them from freshman year onwards.

My freshman year, I shared a room with a sophomore, and junior, and a senior. The senior moved out at Christmas. She and I shared a special bond because we had the same birthday. She was dating at the time. Now she’s married. The junior and I got along fabulously. We never failed to make each other laugh. The sophomore and I shared a love of all things nerdy. This room kept me laughing when I was freaking out—which I did a lot as a freshman.

My sophomore year had the most interesting dynamic. There was a counseling major, a physical education major, a double major in English and clarinet performance, and me. Our personalities could not have been more distinct. By all human reasoning, we should not have gotten along. But somehow we did. We appreciated one another’s quirks, had many deep talks about spiritual things, and supported each other through the hard times. I still have our quote board. There were many odd things said in that room. Odd, but delightful.

My junior year was a cultural stretch. I shared the room with two Asian high school seniors. We never really laughed together. We loved each other. We appreciated each other. But we never learned to understand each other’s senses of humor. Since they were high school students, they had to be in bed with the lights out at 11. Every night, I’d turn off the lights and say “Good night, princesses.” They didn’t react to that much, until one night I didn’t say it, and one of them quietly asked if I could tell them “good night, princesses” again. That little ritual was important to them. You never know what little thing you do will become an important thing.

This year, I had excellent roommates. Nothing fazed them. They were relaxed and happy all the time. While we three came from vastly different backgrounds and had vastly different standards, we all got along. We bonded over healthy food, fitness, and offbeat humor. And a shared love of all things artistic and hippie. There was only one time I had to confront my roommate about something, but she took it with grace and thanked me later for being willing to be honest. I looked forward to returning to my room at the end of them day because going back was like walking into sunshine. I couldn’t have asked for better roommates this year.

I have been extraordinarily blessed. 

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