Collegian Logo 2022

The Daily Collegian's sign in the Willard Building on Tuesday Nov. 15, 2022 in University Park, Pa.

After a semester that was a whirlwind of weather and studies, it’s finally time for Penn State students to kick back and celebrate a well-deserved break.

It’s easy to take the small things in life for granted on a campus that can be big and overwhelming. But as the holiday of giving thanks quickly approaches, members of The Daily Collegian’s Board of Editors shared what they’re thankful for, and what Thanksgiving really means to them.

Megan Swift, Editor-in-Chief

Life can be really challenging sometimes, and no one’s immune to that. But it’s those challenging moments that build character and resilience. I’ll forever be grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had because they’ve contributed to the woman I am today. This might sound cliché, but this Thanksgiving, I’m most thankful to be alive. I get to wake up each morning and interact with the most incredible people — my family, friends, staff members here at The Daily Collegian and individuals I meet for the first time. What can be better than learning about other people’s stories and what motivates them? The right answer, folks, is nothing. Every day, I feel inspired by these individuals. And speaking of inspiration, I’m so excited to go home to Pittsburgh and see my little brother, James, who is the strongest person I know, as well as my mom and dad — my biggest cheerleaders. I’m also thankful for my grandparents and extended family for continuously supporting me in my endeavors. The roller coaster of life moves a lot faster than we want it to, but riding through the ups and downs will never cease to amaze me. Here are some parting words: In case you haven’t heard it lately, you are enough. I’m so proud of who you are and everything you do — even if we’ve never met. I hope you make happy memories this holiday season and become the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Courtney Benedetto, Managing Editor

Thanksgiving is and always has been an excuse for me to reconnect with family after a busy few months of school. Sure, there’s the food and, well, more food, but the time spent with the ones I love always comes out on top. (I do love pumpkin pie, though.) I’m just thankful to spend time with my grandparents and everyone else in my family I don’t see often. I’m extremely grateful this year for the friends I have here at school and the memories we’ve made. They've been my home away from home, and I can’t thank them enough for being there for me.

Will Aguirre, Digital Managing Editor

I'm happy to take time off from classes to spend time with my family.

Olivia Estright, News Editor

Thanksgiving means sleep. Once I get that sleep, we can talk about how it actually means spending quality time with my family. After moving into college, I had the wild realization that I would never be living in the same home with my siblings ever again. Any chance I get to spend with family is one that I'm going to cherish. Despite my parents, brother and sister driving me nuts, the number of times we will all be together is numbered. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to go home, cuddle on the couch that still has my butt dent saved and hug everyone in my family. Aside from the fam, you KNOW I'm thankful for Miss Queen Goddess Taylor Swift, my bestie Danny Devito, my friends and of course, ur mom <3.

Nick Stonesifer, News Editor

Thanksgiving is a time for all of us to take a second and ground ourselves in what we're grateful for. Many of us live our lives so quickly and rarely take a second to appreciate all of the blessings around us. I like to use Thanksgiving as a chance to remind myself that a lot of life is not that deep, and there is more good in life than there is bad. I am thankful for my family and loved ones, first and foremost. Without them, I am nothing, and no matter where I go, I can trust they will always stand by my side. For that, I am eternally grateful. I am also thankful for everyone else in my life — there are so many people in your life who you sometimes might forget are a blessing. They may not be the most important person in your life, but sometimes, people don't have to be. A small conversation you have with a stranger or a lifetime friend in a club are all experiences we should be grateful for. They may not be here forever, so it's best to enjoy their time while you can.

Andrew Buckman, Sports Editor

I am extremely thankful for my family, firstly. Being able to have them around is the best part of the holiday, even though I do really, really appreciate the food and football part, too. That also leads into my thankfulness for sports in general. You might think I’d be sick and tired of them because they consume my life, but in reality, they keep me grounded and continue to make me happy. I did celebrate the men’s soccer team failing to make the tournament, but I swear that was because of my workload and not my dislike for the sport. I am also very thankful for my friends, especially the ones I have made this year. It’s been a tough semester, so without them, I’m not sure how I would’ve done it. Lastly, I am thankful for Joel Haas.

Joel Haas, Sports Editor

To me, Thanksgiving means getting together with family to eat food and watch football. But it also means giving thanks — for everything. I'm thankful for having the ability to get out of bed in the morning — even though sometimes I'd rather go back to sleep. I'm thankful for even having a bed. I'm thankful for the sun and the clouds and the grass and all that stuff, too. I'm thankful for having the ability to be thankful. I'm thankful for the good stuff in my life that makes it worth living. I'm thankful for the bad stuff, too, for teaching me to appreciate the good stuff even more. I'm thankful for Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for sports, music and peanut butter. I'm thankful for all the people I've met along the way — friends, teachers, coaches, teammates and the guy who always yells "WE ARE!" at me when I pass him while running through my neighborhood. I'm thankful for having people in my corner, the ones who've stuck with me through everything and believe in me more than I believe in myself. I'm thankful for the memories I've made along the way and the ones that I still have to make. I'm thankful for Penn State's most trusted news source — The Daily Collegian — and the opportunities it has given me. Perhaps most of all, I'm thankful that the Commanders beat the Eagles.

Max Ralph, Football Editor

Thanksgiving to me means family gatherings. I always think back to going to grandma and grandpa's house, playing pool with my cousins and watching "Elf" as a kid. This Thanksgiving, I'd say I'm most thankful for taking control of my life. A lot of things have been confusing and scary to me, especially when thinking about the future, but I'm doing a lot better these days in staying focused in the present, largely thanks to the people close to me.

Victoria Gough, Lifestyle Editor

I used to be resentful of Thanksgiving. As the only child of divorced parents who don’t keep in touch with their own families, I couldn’t help but compare myself to my peers who had what I considered to be “real families.” As a kid, I dreamed of having a huge family Thanksgiving dinner like all my friends and classmates, with a gorgeous, photogenic turkey as the centerpiece at a massive table. In reality, I celebrated two small Thanksgivings in my pajamas — one with my mom, and the other with my dad and stepmom. As I got older, I grew to be more appreciative and thankful for what I had. My Thanksgivings have no family drama or formalities, just quality time and excellent home-cooked food shared with my loved ones. This year, amid all the stressors of my senior year, I’m thankful for being able to spend time with family — no matter what my family looks like.

Sarah Pellis, Lifestyle Editor

Thanksgiving has always been a crazy holiday for me, and it means different things for me every year I celebrate it. I have spent plenty of Thanksgivings at home watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade waiting for family to come over to my childhood home for dinner as the smell of food would fill my house. I have done the complete opposite — spent Thanksgivings in hotels and restaurants for various reasons. While I preferred to be at home with family, I enjoyed being away from home when I was younger because I gained so many memories that not many other people have during this holiday. This year, we are eating in a restaurant the day before Thanksgiving with my whole family because that’s what best works for my family right now, and I’m trying to learn to accept that. We’ll still have dinner on Thanksgiving Day, but sometimes I miss what we used to do. As my grandparents get older and toward the end of their lives, I am just grateful I get to see them around the holidays. I am also grateful for my friends — from home and in college — because I love them all so much, and I enjoy having Friendsgiving with them. I am also thankful for my siblings, my parents, my dog, my roommates, my pals at the Collegian, my health and — the epitome of the holiday season — Black Friday shopping.

Kit Schroder, Opinion Editor

I’m a very nostalgic person, so for me, Thanksgiving has always been an end-of-the-year holiday meant for reflecting on all the year has given. In 2022, I’ve been blessed with so much. I spent the first half of the year discovering so many new places, cultures, food and languages around Europe with endless support from back home. I spent the next few months in my favorite place with my favorite people — the shore with my brothers, parents, friends and grandparents. I ran at sunrise, I swam at sunset, I really lived this year. I’m so lucky. I could write a book on why, so I won't exhaust this small portion of a newspaper, and instead, I’ll probably go on and on about it to all the people in my life I honestly don’t deserve, who continually support me in all my crazy endeavors. And for that, I’m so thankful.

Phoebe Cykosky, Features and Investigations Editor

Simply put, Thanksgiving is giving thanks. But, it’s a lot more than that. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to reflect on who or what is most important to you, and this year, I’ve learned a lot about that. Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, my favorite time of the year. I’m thankful for my family and friends, the ones who are always willing to listen to my never-ending rants, which you can hear about on the “It’s Not That Deep” podcast with my *least* favorite person, Olivia Estright. I’m thankful for the ability to utilize stairs, the block button and finding peace. Thanksgiving is also a time to acknowledge the root of the holiday and what it means for other communities. Life affects us all in different ways, and Thanksgiving is a time to be cognizant of that. And finally, even though the McRib is back for its last hurrah at participating McDonald’s locations, it will forever remind me to be thankful to be alive in this ever-changing world.

Caleb Craig, Photo Editor

Thanksgiving means I get to enjoy my Cthulhu Turkey (look it up) and crystal gravy, alongside my Jell-O mold salad and bowl of candy corn with milk. I’m thankful for melatonin. Speaking of which, good night.

Jackson Ranger, Photo Editor

For me, Thanksgiving is a special time of the year because it’s one of the few times when I get to see my family. I’ve always savored the journey home for break, as it always gives me a nice respite from all the stress and chaotic energy at State College. It’s because of this break from State College that I feel like I can assess my life choices and figure out where my life is going. Thanksgiving also symbolizes the start of the holiday season, as I feel like I can more easily get into the Christmas spirit after spending time with my family for Thanksgiving celebrations. This Thanksgiving, I’m most thankful for being able to attend Penn State and work as a photographer at The Daily Collegian. I have been given so many experiences that have allowed me to improve myself during my time at Penn State and at the Collegian that I couldn’t imagine a future without them in my life.

Sophia Montanye, Multimedia Editor

To me, Thanksgiving is a time I get to dedicate spending with those close to me. I love that I'm able to sit and listen to everyone around the table and get to share what we have been grateful for that year. It's a great time of reflection for the year, as well as a fun time with those close to me, with the bonus of a great home-cooked meal. This Thanksgiving, I'm beyond thankful for my family, who is always supportive of me through everything I do without a doubt, as well as my close friends who encourage and motivate me to keep doing what I love every single day.

Carson Schultz, Multimedia Editor

My family never really traveled for Thanksgiving. It has always just been me, my parents and my siblings, so it is a special day to be with my family. My parents and my brother would cook all day while my sister and I crafted nameplates and silly decorations for the Thanksgiving table. Thanksgiving is a time for me to take a step back and appreciate all the good in life: good food, good company, good health. My mom has a Thanksgiving book where my siblings and I would write what we were thankful for each year. One of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving is to look back at all the past years and reflect on my life far. As I write this from my bed, I am certainly thankful for DayQuil keeping my spirits high since I've come down with a bad cold. But on a more serious note, I am thankful for the opportunity to study at Penn State and all the people I've met along the way. Starting college during the pandemic was rough, and I certainly couldn't have imagined all the great friends I have made and experiences I have had in my first three years here. I feel like it's easy for me to get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the things I have to be grateful for.

Daily Collegian Opinion Editor Kit Schroder can be reached at

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