Thanksgiving Break is approaching, and you’re most likely counting down the days. While many students will be traveling home to reunite with their loved ones, it is important to keep in mind that this is not the case for all.
Distance can be a distinct barrier between students and their families, which can be especially hard during the holiday season for various reasons.
Some have lost loved ones during this time or are met with anxious feelings when talk about Thanksgiving or Christmas is exchanged. While holidays stir up excitement and fun among many, grief and pain do exist for others.
Some may have estranged relationships with family and do not feel welcome back home. The holiday season for them feels isolating and far from the joy that fills the air during this time.
Some do not have family that live in the States or live too far to travel home for Thanksgiving Break. They do not have the opportunity to spend their holiday with family, as many are able to.
Think about it. Campus is close to empty. The dining halls are closed. Roommates have left. Silence fills the air.
Take into consideration those whose holiday plans will look much different than your own.
Better Together BU hosted its 3rd annual Friendsgiving on Tuesday, which was part of International Education Week. In addition Baylor hosted its annual All University Thanksgiving Dinner Wednesday as a way for the campus to come together and share a free meal on campus.
There are multiple ways that one can make the holiday season memorable, even if not traveling home.
For those looking for community around Thanksgiving, don’t be afraid to reach out to others. Spending quality time with friends, new or old, can leave you with lasting memories to look back on. There is power in community with one another.
Friendsgiving dinners are popular among college students, as a way to commune with others, while still enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether it’s potluck style or cooking together, look around for others who will not be traveling.
If you do live in-state, especially in Waco, why not open up your home to someone who you know does not have a place to be on Thanksgiving Day? Whether it’s a friend, roommate or coworker, that simple gesture could mean the most for someone missing home. It’s very likely that one may not feel comfortable speaking up for themself, so extending an open invitation could make one’s holiday season. As much as we all wish to use the break to de-stress and catch up with family, one more spot at the table doesn’t hurt.
Thanksgiving is viewed as a time to reflect and think about the blessings of the year and to express gratitude. It is a moment of intentionally and celebrated in community with others. No one should have to spend the holiday season alone. It is important to keep this in mind and to be aware of how the holiday season impacts those around you.
Make room at the table.