Buscando la vida (Searching for life)

Author name
Elizabeth Hoyler, '16

With senior year comes the rhetoric of the ultimates, the finals, the last-times. Planning for my family’s Thanksgiving this year has proved no different. “I told your cousins that this was your last Thanksgiving, so they’re coming up!” my mom told me on the phone last week. What? My “last” Thanksgiving?

I wanted to tell my mom that she was wrong. This isn’t going to be my “last” Thanksgiving like it was my last time book-bagging, last fall in Durham, or anything of the like. But as I think about it more, her comment seems less dramatic and more pragmatic.

This time next year, I’ll be in Argentina, and after that the UK. Thursday could very well be my last Thanksgiving as I’ve known them. In honor of that occasion, and also as a shout out to CAPS’ Koru meditation classes that promote mindfulness, I plan on embracing this Thanksgiving to its fullest. Bring on that stuffing, pumpkin pie, brussel sprouts (yes, I actually do like brussel sprouts), slightly tipsy uncles after a glass too much of Champagne, afternoon football games that I do not understand how to play, and total, 100% procrastination of exam studying.

For many of my peers, much of this semester has been filled with questions of “what’s next?” There have been lots of job searches, Career Center meetings, and somewhat constant streams of existential crises in one form or the other.  We are “buscando la vida” (searching for life) as a Senegali immigrant told me in Spain last spring. Yet as I head up for Thanksgiving this year—ready to sit at a table of 16 friends and family—I cannot help but think that I have no need to search for anything. I’ve already found a fabulous life, and hope everyone in our Duke family can feel the same regardless of GPA and/or employment status.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Over and out.