What The Binghamton Community Is Thankful For

Posted by Seth Johnston on November 19, 2021

After over a year in lockdowns and virtual classes, the Binghamton University community is grateful to be back on campus. As the stress of the end of the semester sets in, it can be easy to lose sight of what you are thankful for. To keep the Bearcat spirit up, I walked around campus and asked people what they were most thankful for this year.

Patrick Saint Ange

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“I am thankful for the relationships with my friends and family, because it’s in the nature of relationships to have challenges and obstacles. How you overcome them is what shapes you as a person, and that’s how you learn and grow. It’s in the moments where we disagree, where we might have to face some unforeseen circumstance, in which you learn more about yourself, and you can assess those things, your behaviors, and how you interact with the people you care about. That, in turn, shows you how you should handle those problems if they arise again or how you should handle people that you might not necessarily be close with -- and that helps me grow.”

Ann Merriwether

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“I’m so thankful for the students. When we started back this fall, I was so nervous. The pandemic was scary for all of us. But being out of the classroom for a year and a half and then being back in the classroom and seeing how joyful students were to be back has been amazing. Here we all are in our masks and the classes have been enthusiastic and stimulating."

Calia Kugler

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“Coming this semester and being able to be around people, being able to communicate with others, it completely changes everything. Human communication is such an important thing, so now to be able to finally have it again is amazing.”

Casey Staff

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“My parents because they always taught me to be kind to everybody, give everybody a chance, not look at people for face value, and get to know them on a more personal, intimate level. And just to be a loving, carefree person that works very hard and is proud of the work I do.”

Lakhsmi Chatterjee

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“I have one housemate in particular who always offers to drive no matter what time of day or what the situation is. As long as he’s not in class or very busy at the moment, he always offers to pick us up from anywhere or drive us anywhere, and I’m very grateful that he’s around. We like to call him ‘The Protector of Women’ because he always asks us how we’re doing and asks us if anything’s ever bothering us, and I really appreciate it.”

David Hatami

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“I am thankful for having parents who are immigrants, having been a first-generation student, coming from a background that not a lot of other students are coming from geographically, and from a culture that’s not really prominent in the United States demographically. It may have posed difficulties throughout my life, but it also developed my character in a way that I think has really benefited me. It’s allowed me to look at different situations and different issues through a dual lens.”

Sheyla Santana

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“Over time I started to get involved on campus in many different ways, and I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to do that and to not lose track of things that are important to me, because of my education.”

Owen Holland

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“Before my internship, I wasn’t the most confident or super sure of what I really wanted to do, and I didn’t have the greatest friends at the time. Now I’ve met a lot of great people, such as the TikTok interns. My confidence, in terms of speaking to people, setting up the camera and not caring who’s around me, has gone up way more, and it’s a great feeling when people recognize me or want to be in a video when they see me shooting.”

Richie Sebuharara

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“Something as simple as seeing students just walking down the spine, laughing together with a soda or something. That is really, really cool because we’ve just been kind of deprived for a little bit of time. So it’s good to see that again.”

Harvey Stenger

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“I am thankful that I have found a balance in my life that allows me to be a good father and spouse, and at the same time, a dedicated president of Binghamton University.”

Max Kurant

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“In the summer I went through this experience when I was in my head about a lot of things I was going through. Reflecting on it, I realized I kind of ruined my summer for myself. Now I am trying to not have all these expectations and to just try existing, living and breathing. I’m grateful and proud of myself for being able to not just learn the lessons, but also to accept them.”

John Fletcher

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“I am thankful for my dedication. Not just to myself, not just to my family, but, everything that I hold dear and everything that I hold true. That means staying positive and staying in a good state of mind. You have different fluctuations in your emotions -- and I’m an emotional person. I always have been, I was raised that way. But putting things into perspective and making sure that what I do is going to make a difference. And what I teach is going to make a difference.”

Sara Puskar

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“I think, mainly, I’m thankful for the life that I have. The support I get from my family, friends, coaches, and administrators through my journey and school are what I’m really thankful for.”

Brian Chamberlin

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“I'm thankful that I have gotten to live as long as I have, actually. I have Crohn's disease. I had to go through a lot of treatment to fight it, but the doctors found out what was wrong with me and found a way to treat me. I felt horrible back then. Now at least most every day is a good day. I would say I'm thankful to be alive.”

Madeline Loiaconi

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“It was fun to see how everyone was unashamedly themselves during the lockdowns, especially on TikTok. You saw a lot of nerds coming out of the dark posting stuff about Harry Potter, which no one's talked about for years. It was so much fun to talk about my interest openly that I didn't do before because of the stigma it felt like hung over what was considered nerdy.”

Derek Jordan

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“I think my experience at Cazenovia College really put it in me to find out what I wanted to do in life. I knew I wanted to do something with helping people, but social work wasn’t it. It was one of my degrees, but I just wanted to help people with mentorship and finding out what experiences have you had. When I was asked about being an RA, I found it. I was like, 'This is why I was put on this Earth. To help people. ResLife, that’s my thing.'"

Jennifer Wegmann

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“I've never stopped wanting to learn and grow. And that's something that I'm really actually thankful for. I have a really curious mind. And I'm constantly wanting to learn new things, and not just in my craft of teaching or stress. But I'm super curious about the world as a whole, spirituality in different cultures. So many aspects of life fascinate me. And I kind of have this thirst to learn more about all of it. So I'm thankful for that. That's awesome.”

Seth Johnston is an intern in the Office of Marketing and Communications and an undergraduate student majoring in economics. He loves photography, pandas and a beautiful fall day.

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu.