A photo of lego figurines posed around a table laid out for Thanksgiving.As we turn the final corner toward the end of the semester, we’re taking a minute out of our busy writing, reading, and grading schedules to really reflect on what we’re thankful for this holiday season. Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy and safe Thanksgiving (and a belated one to our Canadian readers)! And a Happy Hanukkah!

Katy Meyers: Earlier in November, I took my comprehensive exams. I am so thankful for the amazing outpouring of support that occurred during this period from my family, my friends, my advisor and committee, my department, and my readers at Bones Don’t Lie. I had no idea that so many people were rooting for me, and it was their support that got me through exams.

Liz Homan: This year, I am most thankful for my research participants, who let me invade their teaching lives for the first half of the year. Four teachers opened up their classrooms to me and made time for visits, interviews, and my never-ending questions, proving that teachers are, in fact, some of the world’s best people. I am also thankful for my health and for my ability to run and train, because this has kept me sane and has given me tangible goals to work for all year long.

Ashley Sanders: I’m thankful for friends who offer love, support, and encouragement through difficult times and for seeing light at the end of the tunnel. This is my last year in grad school; my dissertation is coming together; and I’ve begun applying for jobs. I’m so grateful for the friends, colleagues, and professors who have offered guidance, feedback, advice, and helped me persevere to reach this point.

Kaitlin Gallagher: I am not only thankful for the countless research participants who have been in my studies this past year, but also the undergraduate research assistants who have helped me collect and keep me sane.

Justin Dunnavant: I am thankful for having such a great support network. My friends helped proofread papers, give feedback, and celebrate at the end of the day. My advisors have been helpful in seeing me through the grad school process. My family understands when I can’t make it home some holidays. Most importantly, I’m thankful for the lady in my life who stays up late nights at the library, wakes up early mornings, and helps me keep the bills paid for the apartment ?

Katie Shives: I am so thankful to have a supportive spouse who moved halfway across the country so that I could pursue graduate school. I am immensely grateful for the lab that I work in from my PI to the lab manager for making the lab such a great environment to work in. I am also thankful to have some seriously talented colleagues (and Gradhackers) who continually inspire me to become a better person and researcher.

Alicia Peaker: This Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for two tireless faculty members who ensured that I had funding to support me in my final year. I’m also thankful for the great teams of collaborators I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the past six months including my kick-ass team here at GradHacker. And most of all, I’m thankful to my friends and loved ones who buy me drinks and keep me sane.

Kelly Hanson: On my first Thanksgiving of dissertating, I find myself thankful for my friends and colleagues at my weekly writing group, who helped me navigate the sometimes overwhelming experience of trying to produce a dissertation. I am lucky to have supportive faculty members, offering support for both research and teaching. And I am so, so thankful that I live in the town I live in, with a wonderfully supportive community of academics, musicians, artists, performers, athletes, yogis, and friends who remind me daily that we are so much more than our work.

Erin Bedford: I’m thankful for the other grad students in my life—for my grad student friends who know exactly when and how to distract me and when to let me work; for my labmates who are always willing to discuss research and offer suggestions and advice; and for all of those grad students whose work and ideas have produced the results and advances that inspire me to produce my own.

Laura McGrath: I’m thankful for my cohort: now three years into doing this thing called grad school together, we continue to support and rely on each other through thick, thin, and Comprehensive Exams. I couldn’t be more thankful for my committee, challenging and supportive in (almost) equal measure. I’m thankful for the English Departments, past and present, that have shaped me: Taylor University, Michigan State University, and Calvin College. For my loving partner, family, and friends, I could not be more grateful; I’m glad to do life with these folks, grad school or no.

Emily VanBuren: This year, I’m thankful to be surrounded by so many bright, thoughtful people who are generous with their ideas and guidance, even when they’re very busy. I’m lucky to have a brilliant team of mentors, a wonderful network of colleagues both within and outside of my discipline, enthusiastic family and friends, and a supportive partner. All of these people make this marathon that is the PhD much more manageable and satisfying. I’m thankful that all of them choose to share their time and ideas with me.

Natascha Chtena: Oh so many things to be thankful for…I’m thankful for the suffering and hard times that have taught me how to be more human, how to love, and how to truly savor my times of joy. I am thankful for my health and my strong body that enables me to travel and to connect with others on a physical level. I am thankful for my job as a language instructor, which has shown me my strengths and, more often, my weaknesses. For getting to connect with 23 amazing human beings who have challenged me and given me perspective. I’m thankful for having a home in a city that has access to such lush nature (I’m about to go on a dive after I finish this post). I am thankful for having challenges, both physical and mental, that I can learn from and that make me a stronger person.

Andrea Zellner: I am thankful for networks, whether I engage with them online or face-to-face. I am constantly amused, inspired, refreshed, galvanized, distracted, and impressed by the brilliant people I encounter on twitter, on GradHacker, in my field, and in my professional organization. Without these networks, I know I would not be able to do half of the fun things I do, and for that I am grateful.

Alex Galarza: I am thankful to be returning home this December after spending nine months in Buenos Aires doing fieldwork. I am incredibly blessed to have had such an enjoyable and productive experience in Argentina this year. I am thankful for the fantastic crew at GradHacker who produce such excellent content! I am especially thankful for Katy and Alicia, who have done an amazing job organizing and editing during the last year.

 [Image by Flickr user martha_chapa95 used under creative commons licensing.]

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