Believe it or not, the holiday season is already here. For many of us, this time of year brings thoughts of going home and spending time with our families, cooking recipes that have been passed down through generations and perhaps watching some holiday flicks.
But, what about those of us who aren’t able to go home for the holidays, those of us who don’t live close enough to simply drive, fly or bus home because of other obligations such as work or athletics, or because home is too far away?
A large percentage of the University of Minnesota is made up of students who will deal with this dilemma this Thanksgiving and Christmas season because, when putting together the cost and time involved in traveling back home, it isn’t the most practical decision.
So what do we do when stuck here at school? Here are some ideas that may help spice up your holiday season, even if it may not be so traditional.
One great idea for Thanksgiving is to host a potluck with your roommates, friends or neighbors. Have everyone cook a dish and bring them all together to have a college-type Thanksgiving feast. Not only is this a great way to spend time with people you care about during the season, but it’s also a great way to try new foods and share recipes. This is also a good alternative to a traditional holiday dinner because most restaurants and also the University Dining Service dining halls will be closed.
For international students who don’t normally celebrate Thanksgiving, it can be a way to participate in an American cultural tradition.
Another idea is to spend the holidays at the home of a friend or classmate. Spending almost all of your time at the University, it’s not hard to develop friends that become like family. Spending Thanksgiving with these friends is a great way to get off of campus and be in a comfortable setting surrounded by good friends, and in a sense, family as well.
Keanon Cooper, a senior at the University of Minnesota and also a starting linebacker for the University of Minnesota football team, also deals with not being able to go home for the holidays. He expressed how no one on the football team will be able to travel home for Thanksgiving this year because of their game against Illinois this Saturday, and because the team has practice on Thanksgiving morning.
While the football team will be provided with a Thanksgiving feast, Cooper says the coaching staff also encourages the players from Minnesota to invite other teammates to spend the holidays with them and their families in their homes.
Cooper says he plans to spend his Thanksgiving this year with his girlfriend and her family here in Minnesota; he hopes he’ll be able to travel back to his home in Dallas, Texas, for Christmas come December.
Those students traveling home for Thanksgiving should be thankful that they have the opportunity to do so. But those who have to stay at school for the holidays because of work, athletics or simply being too far away from home to travel need not fret. There are still many in the same boat, and there are still plenty of opportunities to have a great holiday season right here on campus.
Tiffany Trawick welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.