Thanksgiving break is right around the corner! Most empty nesters (AKA parents) have been looking forward to their childrens return from school since, oh, Move-in Day, but some collegians will be staying put and spending Thanksgiving on campus for one reason or another.
If you fall into that category, our College Guide to Spending Thanksgiving Alone will help prevent you from boo-hooing into your dining hall turkey.
For most college students, Thanksgiving break is honestly a breakthe opportunity to take a breather from classes and studying. Students who are living on campus or in off-campus apartments generally return to their parents or families homes for the November holiday. From the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the Sunday (or even Monday) after, its perfectly acceptable to do little more than stuff yourself silly on turkey and pumpkin pie, watch football, visit with friends and family, and hit the Black Friday sales for some hardcore holiday bargain shopping. Oh, and eat plenty of leftovers. Lets not forget the leftovers!
Primarily celebrated in the United States and Canada (although on different days of the year) some international students stay on campus because their cultures do not celebrate Thanksgiving.
Other students who would like to go home are simply unable to make the trip for a variety of reasons, such as:
Classes are cancelled on most college campuses during the week of Thanksgiving. Some schools do close their residence halls as well, but if youre allowed to stay on campus and find yourself needing to do so, its easy to feel sorry for yourself.
A lot of people experience a bout with the winter blues, and the holidays can be a stressful time of year. But if you dont feel bummed out that youre spending Turkey Day at schoolsome people dont have families or dont get along with their familiesthats okay, too.
Whatever your situation may be, here are some tips and tricks for spending Thanksgiving alone:
First and foremost, make sure youre allowed to be on campus. As mentioned above, some schools do close the residence halls, requiring students to go home or find alternative living arrangements during Thanksgiving Break.
Find out if food will be available on campus. Even if the dorms are accessible, the dining halls might be closed due to lack of employees. But if you attend a large state university with multiple cafeterias and food courts, theres a chance that something will be open. Just be sure to find out ahead of time, or you could wind up eating ramen in your room.
Decide what youll eat for Thanksgiving Dinner. If youre able to eat on campusand you have no qualms about eating college cafeteria food for Turkey Daytheres not much to worry about. Some colleges even offer Thanksgiving buffets for students who are staying on campus. But if youd prefer something a little better, youll need to make alternate arrangements. A few ideas:
Theres more to Thanksgiving Break than food. Even students who claim theyve got massive amounts of studying to do will wind up with some down time before classes start again.
If it looks like youll be alone for most of the holidayyour hall mates will all be gone and you dont have any local commuter friendsyou could always volunteer at a shelter or church. And if thats not your thing, thats okay, too. If the weather permits, you could do a bit of sightseeing in your new hometown. If your wallet permits, you could even do a bit of Black Friday shopping.
Going home after all?
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
Have something to say? Feel free to add comments or additional information.