Being that we’re college students, it’s easy for most Rams to think of some blessings to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Maybe we’re glad we live in New York City. Maybe we can’t wait to see the renovated Lowenstein Café, replete with granola and more salad. Or maybe we’re just grateful that for the few days we’re at home for the holiday, we won’t have to worry about all-caps, ellipsis-riddled Facebook comments from our parents.
But that’s no fun. In my book, the most important facet of a “what I’m thankful for” list is its difficulty factor—after all, does being thankful really count if you hardly put any thought into it? I think not. There needs to be a level of effort, somewhere between “watching ‘Dance Moms’” and “4:00 a.m. cramming for a philosophy exam.” So in the spirit of upping the thankful-ante, I’ve provided you with this list of common Fordham complaints, and how to turn them into turkey-worthy Thanksgiving miracles.
1. Campus Construction
This one is almost too easy. Construction wakes you up to the sound of jackhammers every morning at seven, forcing you to live by the old adage “early to bed, early to rise,” and by extension ensuring that you will one day be “healthy, wealthy and wise.” It helps you hone your internal Google Maps by making you mentally re-route each of your daily entrances and exits from McMahon Hall. Its loud noises protect you from the mountain lions that might otherwise invade and seat themselves at the head of a self-contained Survival of the Fittest-style jungle society on the plaza. Thankful yet? Also, I think that due to the construction, a thing of some kind may get built at some point.
2. Lost Reading Days
Close your eyes and picture this: You’re in line for a high-level job at the C.I.A. I can’t specify the position here — it’s really hush-hush. You haven’t told anyone yet, aside from your mother, who’s baking a pie in anticipation of you getting the job right now. They have it down to three candidates, and all three of you are sitting in Michael Morell’s office. It’s time for the final interview. The questions are flying and all three of you are acing them — you have no idea how Morell is going to choose. Then, one final test: describe the history of the Central Intelligence Agency to the best of your abilities.
The other two candidates break out into a cold sweat. “We need to do some research!” they stammer, “we need at least one reading day—that’s how we were trained in college!” You smile and look back on the fall 2012 final exam season. You’ve been through this before. No reading days, no problem. You rattle off all C.I.A. facts you can remember, and before you know it, you’re hired. Soon enough you have a window office. Eventually you retire, and Nicholas Cage plays you in a movie. When he wins the Oscar, don’t forget to send a thank-you note to your academic Deans.
3. Winter Weather
This year we breezed pretty quickly through sweater weather and right into surprise snowstorm territory. No one likes the chapped lips, short days and pale, pale skin that come along with the colder months.
Unless you handle it this way: starting mid-November, stop ever leaving the McMahon-Lowenstein complex. Use the indoor tunnel to get between your room and your classes. Forgo weekend entertainment. Pay your roommates to grocery shop for you (and make them walk all the way to Trader Joe’s, while you’re at it).
Sure, you might lose your mind a la “The Shining,” and yeah, your leg muscles might atrophy a little bit from underuse. But come March, when the world thaws and you finally step outside again, New York will be like a whole new city. You’ll have forgotten which way is downtown, and you won’t remember any of your favorite restaurants.
You can spend all spring having your own personal Enlightenment and walking aimlessly around the city like you’re a freshman again. If that’s not something to be thankful for, I don’t know what is.
I hope that these suggestions have been helpful to you in your pre-T-giving preparations. Be sure to bring them up at dinner if any of your relatives try to talk politics. And more importantly, if your family starts spewing the classic “I’m thankful for my home and my loved ones” lines, just know that you’re better than them. Because you thought harder, and on Thanksgiving, that’s what counts.