As you sit around a table in the coming week, filling your plate with delicious food and expressing gratitude for the things or people who mean most to you in your life, remember to thank yourself.
I know what you are thinking. Why would I thank myself? Isn’t the purpose of this holiday season to be gracious for all that I have and spread the gratitude to others?
The simple answer, yes. The more complex answer, no.
As a college student in a competitive program, it can be tempting to focus on what others are accomplishing instead of yourself. However, this mindset is detrimental to your own success. Take a moment to think about all you have done, what is important to you and what you believe you will accomplish in the future. Say thank you.
Be confident in the person you are. Be sure in your decisions so far. And, above all, know that your future will be above par.
Another important thank you to remember as you are sitting around the table is your professional connections and network. This is a perfect time of year to reach out to past employers, internship bosses, professors and others who have influenced your life so far. Whether it be an email, text or handwritten note, send them something that will remind them of yourself.
So often, we as students underestimate the power of a quality thank you note. Don’t use that sort of crumpled card you have left in your drawer. Don’t write only one sentence in an email. Instead, buy the more expensive card, think of what you want to say and send the personal, professional note on its way.
As a rule of thumb, the best way to maintain relationships within your network is to reach out at least three times a year. Some examples of ways you can reach out include sending an article you saw about the company at which the person works, writing a short but sweet “thinking of you” note or simply sharing what new and exciting thing is happening in your own professional life.
Whether you are thanking yourself or others this holiday season, make sure it is heartfelt and genuine. A thank you goes a long way. And with that, I would like to say thank you to all of you. Near and far, I appreciate all of my Bobcat friends.
Alyssa Murtagh is a junior strategic communication major and our VP of Member of Relations. If you’re thankful for Alyssa, give her a follow on Twitter @alyssamurt.