At times this year has been a difficult one for the College of Business. However, in spite of the hardships that students, faculty and staff have battled in their personal lives, there is a lot to be thankful for in this community.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said,

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

As a COBA student, I am constantly provided with unique opportunities. I’ve had the chance to listen to speakers like Dan Austin and April Anthony who have come to campus and interacted with students who are below their level of expertise and below their pay grade. I have also the opportunity to study abroad in Oxford and in the next six months will get to spend a week in Colorado at Leadership Summit as well as two weeks studying abroad in Honduras. All of these opportunities are incredible, wonderful, and potentially life changing, but this year, none of them are at the top of my list of things I’m thankful for.

Emerson points out that “all things have contributed to your advancement,” and he’s right. Every time I look up I find myself face to face with another chance to better myself and to develop skills for life. These prominent opportunities to travel or hear big name speakers are incredible, and I’m more grateful for them than I can say. However, I think that more than any huge trip or business superstar, I am thankful for the relationships COBA has allowed me to have, not just with fellow students, but with faculty.

Any COBA student you ask will tell you that the individuals who teach here, such as Ms. Jozell Brister, teach them more than just business skills. They teach us how to have integrity in the workplace and how to be responsible and plan ahead. They teach us what it means to take time out of our days to serve others and what it means to show hospitality to our neighbors. But more importantly, through all of this, they’ve taught us what it looks like to live a life of faith every single day.

So this year, I’m thankful, not for the fact that I can go somewhere beautiful or listen to someone interesting speak, but rather for the fact that here at COBA I am learning habits that change who I am from day to day, not just who I am in my career.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. You’ll undoubtedly sit around a table, and you may even tell your friends and family what you’re thankful for. That’s all well and good, but if you leave your thanks at the table, you’ve gained nothing.

Follow Emerson’s suggestion, and cultivate a habit of thankfulness this year.

Happy Thanksgiving from COBA, and THANK YOU to our COBA faculty!