Back to school with gratitude

Joshua Terry

Now that the year is underway and return- ing Western Illinois

University students get back into their routines and freshmen adapt to the new atmosphere, I am still in shock to even be here.

The first thing people ask is, “How did you choose Western?” To be honest, I don‘t have a legitimate answer.

I didn‘t apply until the last week of my senior year, and it‘s only because I had no guidance in which way to further my education. I never received the “college plan- ning talk” from my parents; in fact, I’m the first person in my family to ever set foot on a college campus.

At summer orientation and fresh- man convocation, they always remind incoming students to thank the family and teachers that have gotten us to this point and to show our gratitude. Let‘s be honest — most of us say few “thank yous” because we have not yet figured out the magnitude of what we are doing and the possibilities that we can achieve.

I, for one, am entirely grateful and blessed to have been able to work out all of my school informa- tion and get my school necessities for this year. There were plenty of bumps in the road that could have held me back and made me resort to staying home dealing with those issues, but with strong faith, determination, love and support of so many friends and family, it is a great way to start off the year.

With Family Week approaching in September, I encourage you to take the time to appreciate the ones that have gotten you here. Even if they don’t have the opportunity to come visit, remember that without their help, you wouldn‘t be a proud Western student. Like our president Jack Thomas says, “Everyday is a proud day to be a Leatherneck!”