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How to Have Thanksgiving for College Students in the Dorms  

Posted: August 23, 2022
Thanksgiving table

The end of the fall semester is an eventful time for college students. Finals are approaching, you’re studying non-stop, and trying to make winter break plans with family and friends from back home. While all this is going on it’s easy to forget about Thanksgiving.  

Do College Students Go Home for Thanksgiving?

A large percentage of college students do go home for Thanksgiving. After spending months making ramen and eating dining hall food, who wouldn’t want mom’s mashed potatoes and grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie? As you start to feel the food coma come on, you realize you can sleep in your bed back home, which is far more comfortable than the mattress in your dorm room. Seems like an easy decision to head home, but it’s not easy for every student.  

College Students Who Can’t Go Home for Thanksgiving

There are a handful of students, generally out-of-state or international students, that don’t go home during the Thanksgiving break. At most schools, Thanksgiving break is only three days long (the Wednesday before the holiday, Thanksgiving Day, and the Friday after) and classes resume the following Monday. Final exams are then two or three weeks after Thanksgiving break. The challenge for students going home for winter break is deciding if it’s worth the price to travel back home for Thanksgiving break as well.  

College students aren’t the wealthiest bunch. They are trying to budget as much as possible, meaning staying at the dorms is the best option. Missing out on Thanksgiving with your family isn’t fun or a simple decision. However, saving money that can go toward student loans or another vacation in the future can certainly be worth it.  

What to do if Staying at the Dorms for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at the dorms doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Chances are that you have a friend or two that could potentially be staying at the dorms as well. Make a Friendsgiving out of it. We don’t expect you to make a turkey at the dorms, but there are plenty of grocery stores that have pre-made meal packages that are quick and effortless to make. Turkey isn’t everybody’s favorite either, have fun with your friends making whatever you want.  

If you’re staying at the dorms for the holiday, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend Thanksgiving at the dorms. A friend that lives near your school could invite you over for Thanksgiving because the day is all about spending time with quality people. Certain universities have been known to have deans and professors offer spots at their tables for Thanksgiving dinner, and students make new friends in similar situations there too.  

Truthfully, Thanksgiving could not be your thing. There are other things to do. Your roommate likely went home and now you have the room to yourself for a few days. It’s the perfect time to binge watch that show you’ve been wanting to see or catch up on sleeping peacefully in an empty building. Parents, this is a great time to send your kid a college care package because students can still feel your love away from the table with snacks for the weekend as the dining hall is usually closed during break.  

You can make Thanksgiving break at the dorms enjoyable if you can’t go home. It’s still a break, find time to relax and eat what you want because who knows the number of calories you consume at Thanksgiving dinner.  

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