Last night I joined my five fellow Hoyas for Thanksgiving dinner at the house of our lovely French coordinator, Valerie. It was arguably the most enjoyable Thanksgiving I’ve had in college—though it’s up against last year’s dinner at my uncle’s house with his friends and my grandparents (lovely, but normal) and an underwhelming meal at Epicurean with my freshman year roommate, so I’m not sure that’s saying much.

In any case, it was the perfect Thanksgiving for this semester. Valerie provided the turkey, everyone brought a side dish, and we sat around talking and laughing until almost midnight. I got a new nickname. Danny received the dubious honor of being the first Georgetown student ever to twerk in Valerie’s apartment. We all ate too much and drank a lot of wine, and I remembered that perhaps more than ever, I really do have a lot to be thankful for.

So this is me, being thankful. For good friends, good wine, and good food—yes, even that sweet potato thing, even if I think it has no place on the table outside of a pie crust. For a motley crew of American imports who I likely would never have met at Georgetown but whose company I enjoy more than I ever expected to. For the last three months, and for the six still to come.

For my host family—parents who have welcomed me into their house, brothers who watch Doctor Who, a sister whose boundless energy is both wonderful and terrifying, and the fluffiest cat I’ve ever met—and for my incomparable real family, who seem to have accepted without too much complaining that I’m going almost two years without setting foot in the house.

And most of all, for the wonderful set of circumstances that conspired to send me here. Call it fate, call it luck, call it divine intervention if you’re so inclined, but two years ago I don’t think I could have imagined myself spending nine months in a beautiful city in France without selling my soul to pay for it. I had some mixed feelings about the things I was giving up at Georgetown to come here, but now I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

This piece is cross-posted on the Georgetown Study Abroad Blog, where you can read about the experiences of Georgetown students studying across the globe.


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