November 2021

By Mikayla Shults

It’s November! This is a time that we start thinking about what we are thankful for, and it might be the first time in a while for some people. I certainly don’t think about gratitude on a daily basis, but I hope to change that. Something that I’ve been working on is telling people I appreciate them. You’ll see how many of the people I spoke to do the same. If that’s out of your comfort zone, I suggest expressing your gratitude for nature. Start paying attention to how the seasons change, the feelings you get at sunrise or sunset, and notice what the earth can do for you. Just starting to acknowledge my relationship with nature has helped me become more grounded.

I asked people a few different questions to get in the mood for the season of gratitude. I learned what gratitude means to some people, how they practice, and what they are thankful for. I hope you get some new perspectives on gratitude from this. If you want to share your answers to these questions, message
@GrowingUpSc on Instagram, and we will post it!

Hannah Mathiesen

Aptos High School

I practice gratitude by never taking a single thing for granted! Something as little as receiving a hug or even getting a text is always followed by a “thank you” or “I appreciate you/that/it” etc. The universe works in mysterious ways, and you never know what someone may be going through or when you get the opportunity to see them again, so don’t let a single moment be forgotten or unappreciated.

Nimali Goonetilleke


To me gratitude is being appreciative of the things in your life. I am very thankful for everything good that has happened, but I also appreciate the things that didn’t as well. Although in the moment I may not be happy with my failure or how something is going, I feel those are the times that I have learned the most and can grow from. I am truly grateful for those times because without them I feel I wouldn’t have a true understanding of what the world is today; filled with joy and happiness but also with defeat and hardship. To practice gratitude I think of the moments in life that have improved me as a person, the good and the bad.

Daniel Schafer-Dews

San Lorenzo Valley High School

I am grateful for my parents and for my amazing sister. They support me, feed me, and love me. Even when my sister went to college she would text me everyday; she would listen to my problems, give me advice and make me laugh.
I practice being grateful by trying my best to look out for my family and do whatever I can to reciprocate the things that they do and help me with. One of the most important ways that I show them that I am grateful for them is by always saying goodbye to them . Whenever I leave for a trip or go anywhere I always say goodbye to my family or call them. This is my way of making them feel like I always acknowledge them and my way of letting them know that I never take their presence for granted.

Hailey McKinney

Scotts Valley High School

I practice gratitude by telling/showing my friends or family that I am very thankful for how they support me every single day through tough or good times. I also try to pick one good thing a day I am grateful for.

Taylor Kittle

Age 16

My cheer coach is very understanding when it comes to mental health. A lot of my team is very open about mental health and common issues we all share. Many of our teammates have dealt with self harm and eating disorders and we all help each other. It’s like one big therapy family. I don’t think I’ve ever met a group of people who I find so similar and so helpful all in one.

Jacklyn Herring


Since I was younger, I have kept a gratitude journal where I would list a few things I am grateful for daily. Remembering to focus on the things I am grateful for has definitely helped me to keep a positive mindset through tough experiences. I am so grateful for my close community of friends!

Coumba Faye

Santa Cruz High School

I’m very grateful for family and friends that I have in my life. And I am very grateful for everything that I have in Santa Cruz.

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