There’s a week until Thanksgiving, so it’s officially the beginning of the Christmas spending season. Stores like Wal-Mart and Target even plan to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day to prepare for the Christmas shop-till-you-drop-and-get-trampled event, Black Friday. We, as a society, seem to forget Thanksgiving, but it’s not only Thanksgiving we are neglecting. We also forget the act of actually being thankful throughout the year.

I often fall ill with the disease of entitlement. I take for granted my cozy bed or my delicious Augie Bowl. My family supports me through the highs and the lows, and my friends make me smile every single day.

I truly am living the dream—one of which many people across the world (and even in South Dakota) would be jealous. However, sometimes people laugh at me when I tell them that I’m living the dream each day. They can’t believe a college kid would be jazzed to simply wake up every day (and usually I’m not. It’s only after a couple cups of coffee that I realize how good I’ve got it).

The general attitude towards getting a degree often spews negativity. Yes, you get little sleep because of the mountain of things to do. You are forced to study for tests, many of which probably seem irrelevant and painful. You are given the same food options for four years in a row if you have enough time to eat it. And in addition to being tired, worn out and hungry, you are dirt poor with mountains of debt caused by paying for this experience.

Being a college kid sucks.

And yet, I’m still thankful for it. Each day, I get to wake up, and Jane will swipe my card at the cafeteria and tell me what a wonderful person I am. I get to go to class and have Dr. O’Hara reveal a whole new world I never even knew existed. I get to walk around a campus that is filled with smart, funny and (dare I say it) damn good-looking people.

And in addition to being cared for, taught and entertained every day, I don’t even have to pay for most of it. That’s right, Augustana College pays for over half of all students’ tuition before any academic/athletic/musical/one-of-the-other-bajillion scholarships are awarded.

Let’s be more thankful, not just during Thanksgiving, but every day. Go thank your janitors for taking out your trash so you don’t have to walk outside to the dumpster. Thank your professor for teaching at Augustana and actually caring about you. Thank your friends for putting up with all the stupid stuff you do (even though they do it, too).

Going to Augie is a privilege, so let’s stop complaining about tests and be grateful we get to take them.

Emily Weber is a senior biology major from Sioux City, Iowa.