You Can't Go Home for Thanksgiving. Here's What to Do

Thanksgiving pic

You're one of those college students who studies far from home, and there are a number of reasons for not celebrating Thanksgiving with your family. You opt for a Christmas break after you look at your modules. You're looking at a long list of deadlines (to essay assignments) and examinations, so you're thinking of studying during Thanksgiving. You need a break (like everyone else), and there are many ways to observe the holiday.

There's no reason to be a party pooper because you're disheartened at the sheer volume of books that you must read prior to Thanksgiving. If you happen to be majoring in Math or Science-related course, you don't want to be start up (and ruffle the feathers of your fellow students). The holiday is a good opportunity to know other students who happen to be attending the same university as you do, and there's no room for novels you like (or dislike), the possible options for Math or Science-related majors or the upside (or downside) of pursuing a dual degree. You might forget your commitment to a strict diet (and indulge in turkey) or be grateful about the break from the coursework. Your studies become less important when you become conscious of the silence in the campus.

You must not dread the coming of Thanksgiving, as you can celebrate this momentous holiday like everyone else. You must need an open mind and a grateful heart, not to mention a polite attitude.

5 Ways to Create a New Tradition

Plan your own Friendsgiving. You're not the only who won't be home for the holidays, so this is your cue to organize your own Thanksgiving with teens you hardly know. It's exciting when you think about it, as there are no expectations. No one wants to feel the blues, and this one-time thing could be your most memorable experience. (You might be meet lifelong friends). You can talk about potluck, but you can volunteer to prepare a dish or two. The latter is a great idea, as this act could warm you up to acquaintances. Social media should help you find some fellow students (who would stay in college), yet there's an alternative which might be better. Your coursemates could be your extended family, and Friendsgiving would strengthen the bond that brought you together. You would need that support next month (and the spring semester).

Inquire about Thanksgiving event in your college. Your dean could be organizing a Thanksgiving dinner at his (or her) home, if not in an auditorium near you. And you must not pass it up. There's no need to let your shyness get the best of you, even if Thanksgiving is your chance to catch up on your favorite shows on Netflix. Holiday is a communal thing, and you never know who you would meet. This person might be your guardian angel in disguise, assisting you in paper writing, if not research, one of these days. Think about it. 

Get back to your community. Thanksgiving is not the right time to wallow in self-pity, as you might be unaware of the homeless people. There are churches and generous souls who help the less fortunate, and many can't afford a Thanksgiving dinner. Your tutor may be one of them, if not the secretary of the department. (And you initially dislike the secretary for not entertaining your inquiries on how what to do after missing your deadline to your assignment.) This would be a humbling experience, also a realization that you're privileged to be attending college. And you won't be alone.

Inquire about Thanksgiving parades. Smaller cities celebrate Thanksgiving, and this is something to look forward to. Each community would put their quirky touch into those parades, which would excite passersby. You may (or may not) like the music, but it hardly matters here. You want to be part of crowd, who happens to have a good time. Don't think about what you can learn from the parades, which you might use in your next assignment.

Set yourself up for adoption. You have to be cheeky on this one, as you ask your tutor, if not any member of the faculty, if one of them is willing to adopt you on Thanksgiving dinner. This is also an opportunity for a foreign student to get a first-hand experience of an American tradition. If you have a roommate, dorm mate or coursemate who comes from another country, you must not hesitate to invite him (or her). It would cure his (or her) homesickness.

Banish that Thought

You know someone who has seen “Addams Family Values”, which highlights the dark side of the origin of Thanksgiving. It would be appeal to devious minds, but you're too young for this kind of thing. It doesn't matter if you're a huge fan of this morbid family (or comedy), as you want to forget about your worries about the coursework. You also want others to be happy as well. You could ask about “The Sound of Music” (and your favorite scenes).

Thank you.

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