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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer


As I made my way back from Chicago to South Bend after a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving break with my family, I found myself reflecting on the last few days with an immense amount of gratitude.

Last year, during my first year of college, I spent the beginning part of Thanksgiving break working on a film analysis project and most of the rest of it filled with anxiety prepping for what was sure to be a very arduous Biology final. I realized that, even with this much needed break, I truly didn’t have much of a “break.” Even when I did get to take moments to relax, I subconsciously kept thinking about all that I could or should be doing to make my life easier during finals season. 

This year, however, was the first year that I truly felt I could experience the “break” part of Thanksgiving break, and for that, I am very grateful. 

At the start of break, I got to hangout with my friend Grace who was celebrating Thanksgiving in Chicago with her family. While hanging out, we played a card game with my brother and roommate from last year called, “We’re Not Really Strangers.” We also attempted not to burn sugar cookies. We all had a really fun time together, and I was so grateful to introduce one of my closest Notre Dame friends to my first-year roommate and brother.

Last year, my roommate celebrated Thanksgiving with us, and I was so happy to be able to do that again this year. My family doesn’t really have any particular Thanksgiving traditions, as we’re always doing something different each year, but celebrating Thanksgiving with my first-year roommate has kind of become its own tradition. This year, we’re on two different campuses, so I was really grateful for the time to catch-up and see what she has been up to this past semester. 

My brother drove us downtown, and we got to experience the madness of Black Friday shopping, even though we decided not to buy anything. On our way back, we got to look at all of the different Christmas decorations, and I noted how grateful I was to be home, even if it was just for a short time. 

During break, my family also got our Christmas tree. My family goes all out when it comes to decorating for Christmas, which includes multiple Christmas trees throughout our house. This past Friday, we got our real Christmas tree from our local church and decorated it the next day. I was grateful for the time spent decorating the tree and for the pine smell that filled the room. Christmas is in the air, no pun intended. 

Towards the end of break, I also got to hangout with my cousin, Grace, who is a first-year at Tulane. I enjoyed getting to hear about her college experience, as well as reflect on my own. I was so grateful for our much needed time together.

And as much as I longed for a few extra days of break, I am grateful to be back in South Bend at Notre Dame. While these final few weeks of the semester are sure to be challenging at times, I know I will also be grateful for them and for what’s to come.

Isabelle Kause is a sophomore at Notre Dame studying sociology and minoring in journalism. When she’s not busy, you can find her listening to country music or Taylor Swift or trying out new makeup/skincare products. She can be reached at

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.