May

Gratitude

It's easy to get swept up in the negative aspects of the current situation, but Psychology student Poppy thinks it's essential to step back and appreciate what we're thankful for. Here, she shares her gratitude list.

One thing I've noticed during this lockdown is all the things I took for granted: seeing my friends at university, going on holiday and even a trip to Sainsbury's when I wanted a sugar kick. As such, one thing I strive to do is to have more gratitude for both the big and little things in life.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines gratitude as "The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness".

Here are the five things I'm grateful for this week:

1. The internet

This is obvious, I know, but at this point, I think we should appreciate the obvious. If it wasn't for the internet, I wouldn't be able to talk to my friends and family, continue to work in my job or even carry on with my degree.

We've taken the internet for granted for so long, and now I want to say thank you. Thank you, internet, for letting me connect with my loved ones, distracting me with YouTube videos and educating me with Google Scholar. 

2. My pets

When everything is so scary and severe, one thing that keeps me sane is the unconditional love I receive from my two gorgeous Border Collies. They are so happy that I'm home from uni (at least they were for the first five minutes), and are always excited when I come downstairs in the morning to begin a new day of playing fetch.

I'm grateful to have my dogs, and I miss them so much when I'm away. I couldn't imagine what this whole situation would be like if they weren't here with me.

3. My family

This is a cliché, I know, but I have so much gratitude for my family, without whom I wouldn't be here.

It's not always easy living back at home, especially when I'm so used to my independence, but they bring me so much love and support. Yes, I can still act like a moody teenager – and justifying all my actions is exhausting. Still, I couldn't and wouldn't want to imagine dealing with this pandemic without them.

4. My garden

This is a bit strange, but if you've read this far, you're probably now aware that I'm a bit odd. I grew up with a beautiful big garden, and in recent years we added a large decked area, so having a cup of tea outside is as easy as having it in the kitchen.

When I went to uni I lived in a small but absolutely beautiful flat, and I didn't have a garden. This never bothered me, because Bath is so full of nature and my campus is so exquisite. I didn't need to go far to enjoy some green space.

When the pandemic hit, I couldn't go to campus or enjoy the beauty of Bath. I was cooped up in my flat, and that's why I decided to come home. This wasn't a choice everyone could make, and I have friends who are having to forgo the sun to stay safe. I'm therefore very grateful for my garden.

5. My tutors

Last but by no means least, I have so much gratitude for my tutors and my university in general. Hearing the experiences of my friends at other universities, it hit me how amazing this university is treating us all.

At the beginning of the crisis, we received daily updates from the Vice-Chancellor, which switched to weekly when everything began to settle.

My tutors were and still are actively looking for feedback so that they can improve the student experience – despite the tremendous workload they have been faced with (on top of looking after children and other dependants). I'm grateful to be part of a university that cares so much about its community.

So, there you have it – the five things I'm grateful for.

It's so easy to get swept up in the negative aspects of the current circumstances, that it's essential to step back and remember what you're truly thankful for. 

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.

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