Thinking of what I am grateful for can be difficult. There are so many things that I can consider. Thinking specifically about the Army ROTC program at Shippensburg University, I cannot say a single bad thing about it.
ROTC is where I met lifelong friends who not only are going to be college associates, but brothers and sisters with whom I will always stay in touch.
Another reason I am thankful for ROTC is because of the opportunities that were granted to me. First, I was able to study Arabic — a language I have always been interested in studying.
The Army even paid for me to study at North Carolina State University, where I had an amazing time learning Arabic, and meeting a lot of new people from across the United States.
I also was given the opportunity to visit another country through the Army ROTC Cultural Understanding and Leadership Program (CULP). I was sent to São Tomé and Príncipe, which is a tropical island off the west coast of Africa.
I had the time of my life there, I got to meet many of the islanders. Being immersed in their culture was something I cannot fully put into words. It was an amazing time, and the cadets that came with me were people with whom I will always share that experience.
A third reason I am grateful is the opportunity I got to run two marathons representing Shippensburg University Army ROTC. I had this opportunity by supporting Azalea Charities, which donates to the Wounded Warrior Foundation.
It is a great charity and an amazing marathon that was very inspiring. Seeing all the current and former Marines, Naval, Army and Air Force personnel was very inspirational.
Seeing many wounded warriors finishing a marathon is something that cannot be described.
One final reason I am thankful for the Army ROTC program is because it gave me the ability to enhance my leadership and critical thinking that will never get from a typical college course. The skills they teach you are some that will always advance you in society today. I am grateful for all the opportunities, people and leadership of ROTC.
Being a part of the ROTC program here at SU, I also cannot help but feel grateful for all of the opportunities ROTC has afforded me.
If it were not for the program, I would never have had the opportunity to go to another country.
Also, as a management major, a lot of the skills cross over because of the focus on leadership development.
I have grown more as a person in the past three semesters because of ROTC. I think during this holiday season we need to think of the little things we take for granted, especially at this university.
While the school year is coming to an end, and many students are stressed about projects, finals and other things, it helps as a little extra motivation to take a second and recognize the amazing opportunities we have and will have — in the future.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and are not representative of The Slate or its staff as a whole.