Gratitude: Not Just for Breaks

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Just making it through…”

As we get back to work from the temporary respite of Thanksgiving Recess and wait in anticipation for Winter Break, I find myself reflecting amidst the hustle and bustle of life in the Retreats and ESCAPE Office.  It’s all too easy to lose ourselves in the constant pressure of “making it through” to the end of the semester, and lose sight of what gives our shared life on the Hilltop true depth and meaning.

I get it – your (already-insane) academic workload is ramping up. Midterms at Georgetown last fourteen weeks, group projects and papers are nearing deadlines, and what happened to all that reading still left to do? No matter which Hoya I ask, the answer is nearly always the same: “Swamped. Just trying to make it through.”

No easy words or platitudes are going to make your stress any less real. However, I would invite all Hoyas to take two seconds to look around and recognize what makes your life behind, and beyond, the gates meaningful. Is it the quiet beauty of holiday lights around campus? A smile from one of your favorite people? The peace of a favorite spot on or around the Hilltop? A friend, faculty, or staff member who’s been good company on your Georgetown journey?

Seventeen more days – in the middle of everything, consider giving yourself a quiet moment to reflect. We practice gratitude during Thanksgiving and during Christmas, and let’s not lose sight of that in the “in-between.” St. Ignatius gives a great tool to do so with the Examen (new window), which is accessible to anyone.

Next semester, consider giving yourself the gift of time away on retreat – whether that be ESCAPE, Agape, the Senior Retreat, or an Ignatian Silent Retreat. When the stress gets to you, stop by the Retreats and ESCAPE Office for a piece of chocolate and some good company. And finally, know that we in Campus Ministry are so grateful for you.

Madeline Vitek (new window), Director of ESCAPE