The EducationQuest blog squad reflected on the years we spent pursuing college degrees and each wrote about what we are most thankful for – perfect timing for this Thanksgiving week. We invite you to check it out and then imagine your life after earning a degree. What will change? Who will YOU thank?

Thanks, mom and dad! – Kristin Ageton

As a first-generation college student, my parents were extremely committed to my siblings and me getting an education after high school. Growing up in a financially conservative family led to me applying for scholarships like it was a part-time job. As a result, I earned enough to cover half of my college costs. But, to my surprise, my mom had aggressively saved to help pay the rest. Her commitment to me getting an education, and saving for it, is what allowed me to graduate debt-free and have one less worry as I started working full-time in a new city.

Thanks for increased opportunities – Wynter Davis

I am thankful for education because it provided me with greater access to opportunities and allowed me to play a sport that I truly love. I was a first-generation college student, so when I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, it was not only a moment that made my parents proud, but I broke the cycle for my younger siblings in hopes to inspire them to reach their dreams.

Thanks, college professors! – Jeannine Phelan

I am thankful for my college professors who taught me, challenged me, and helped mold me into the person I am today. Thanks to my philosophy teacher who introduced me to the Socratic method of inquiry – I sure do ask a lot of questions! Thanks to my history teachers who helped me understand the value of learning from our past. Thanks to my biology, chemistry, and physics teachers for lifting the veil to the wonders of science. And thanks to my theology teachers for adding a spiritual element to my college years.

Thanks for life-long friends – Jacquie Butler

I am thankful for the opportunity my parents gave me to receive a college education.  Through my years of attending college, I was able to grow mentally, spiritually and socially.  I have developed some lifelong friendships and connections that I truly hold dear to my heart, and my education has given me opportunities that I would’ve never had without it!

Thanks for an expanded world view — RJ Vega

I am thankful for the academic lessons and the professors that challenged me to grow, to expand my view of the world, and at times, left me with my head spinning! All the hours spent studying and reading, writing and analyzing, have collectively shaped me into a professional that is valued for my perspective and input. The study habits that I developed in college, and the nurturing of my curiosity, have led me to become a lifelong student. I’m thankful for the instructors who contributed to my academic journey, and I hope to cultivate a similar impact on the students that I am fortunate to work with every year. 

Thanks to the caring adults in my life – Allison Ourada

I am thankful that I had caring adults to help guide me through the financial aid process. I was always going to have some student loans, but with help from my parents and teachers I took out less debt than I might have on my own, and I am now only a few months away from paying off all my college debt in full!