A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

A Whole Latte Thanks

We don’t have Thanksgiving in Turkey. And the Dutch don’t have it either. But social media does! This is how I ended up watching videos about it on Youtube, mainly what people were thankful for. And those videos, they made me realize that I had so many things to be thankful for!

(This is the post that I was thinking of writing however the Professional Procrastinator that I am, I didn’t. In my defense I had essays and finals coming up – on which I had to procrastinate and start watching old TV shows because why not? Right? Right? I guess we’ll find out when my grades are published…)

And here I am now at Schiphol Airport with my Toffee Nut Latte, finally writing this post that has been on my mind for quite some time.

Today it hit me. The term was over and it was time to go back home. You did it! You survived! (Now of course you don’t know your grades, whether you passed or not but at this point it doesn’t matter anymore because it’s over!) The last few days was about going back in time, to when all this adventure started which made me realize once more that I have so many thanks to give!

What am I Thankful for?

Let’s start with the clichés:

  • My family who is waiting for me right now, whose excitement I can feel through their messages and voices. It’s impossible to describe how thankful I am to have them so I will just say that they mean The World to me.
  • My old friendships meaning the ones I had before I came here for university. We’ve shared laughs, tears, excitement, disappointment, plans, dreams, almost everything and I am really lucky to have you all.
  • My family here I felt like I should mention these two separately: Efe and Laçin. They say friends are the family that you can choose and they have –literally- become my family. Coming to an unknown land with friends you have had for years is not a chance that everyone gets but I was one of the lucky few. Thank you is not good enough for these two!
  • My new friendships I have met some amazing people here with whom I am sharing this whole experience. (Many things to write about them but it could end up as a short story so I won’t can’t.) They have introduced me to their traditions which I have really enjoyed such as Advent, Sinterklaas and Christmas (I got my first-ever Christmas gifts from them just last night!) Oh and I should really add this: Shout out to the awesome people who have carried me at the back of their bikes: Thank you!
  • My workgroup I was really lucky about my workgroup as well, with whom I had so much fun, not just in class but outside as well – ok mainly outside. Go 108!
  • My roommate, the “International” Dutch. Getting a roommate is sort of like gambling and you never know how the person will turn out to be like but again I was lucky about this as well.
  • Being in The Netherlands It’s not easy studying abroad and it requires many sacrifices for which again I am thankful to my parents. I really wanted to study abroad and I am really thankful for this opportunity that I cherish every day.
  • Being a part of The Leidener I have always enjoyed writing but like I mentioned before I mainly kept it to myself… This blog gave me an opportunity to share my words with others and I am thankful for that. I am thankful for all the comments and support I have received.

This list is getting really long thanks to the explanations so from now on I will just use bullet points. Well, I’ll try…

We have so many things to be thankful for. Just the little things in life actually. You just have to look to see what’s right in front of you. So here are the little things in life that make me happy and for which I am thankful.

  • Everything Gratis! (Studenten Korting would also do.)
  • Books (2nd hand, antique market… Anything and everything!)
  • Coffee (and this Latte in my hand)
  • Nutella (oh well, all sorts of desserts more like)
  • The crazy ones (Google “Here’s to the crazy ones” and you’ll see what I mean.)
  • Poems
  • Art galleries (Magical places where you can make the time stop and just… enjoy the beauty of art and creation and the incredibility of imagination.)
  • Predrinks and BYOB parties
  • Music
  • Movies (and popcorn!)
  • Being back at home (seeing my family and friends, enjoying all sorts of real delicious Turkish food, walking in the streets of the city that I was born and raised in…)

And I am thankful to you. For reading this till the end, for taking the time because you don’t know how much it means to me and how excited I get when I’m writing, when I get a new idea about a piece I can write… (Seriously I’m sure some people at the airport actually thought I was crazy) Thank you.

Let’s end this post with a message:

Life happens and we get caught up in things, forget the things that really matter. I wish we all had Thanksgiving; a whole day just to give thanks, to take the time to appreciate the things we have been given!

Happiness is the little things; a beautiful sunset, a memorable kiss, your favorite song coming up on the radio, a meal shared with friends… The list goes on but my coffee is over and I should now run to the gate. In short; take the time to enjoy these little things and to appreciate them.

Stay beautiful, stay happy.

(Please don’t judge me for the title… Oh and Happy Holidays!)

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This entry was posted on December 23, 2013 by in Culture, Ecesu, Leisure, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .

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