10 Things College Students Look Forward To Over Thanksgiving Break

10 Things College Students Look Forward To Over Thanksgiving Break

Break out your stretchy pants, it's finally Thanksgiving!

Ahh, the best time of year is finally here! Now, don’t get me wrong; I am a lover of all things fall but there is something so special about the holiday season. I am most definitely a holiday enthusiast; cue Mariah Carey All I Want For Christmas Is You as I wrap presents under a Christmas tree. But, before I delve into the wonders of Christmas, we must pay tribute to the hidden gem that is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving starts the holiday season off with a bang (a day dedicated to food?! No bang could be bigger). As my first semester of college races to a finish, I am definitely looking forward to taking a break from all the stress that comes along at the end of the semester, and Thanksgiving break is just that! Here are 10 things I, and probably every other college student, are looking forward to over Thanksgiving break.

1) Family: After all, isn’t family what the holidays are all about? I can’t wait to see not just my immediate family but my huge extended family that I have not seen since the summer- bring on all their questions about school and concerns about well, everything. Never thought I would say this but I miss the loud, can’t hear yourself think, craziness that describes my family at every gathering.

2) Pets: My dogs are the ultimate cuddle buddies and I cannot wait to receive all the love and licks from them. The funny pictures I get sent daily do not make it any easier to be away from them; I am just as excited as they are to finally be reunited.

3) Friends: I have to be honest, this is the one I am looking forward to the most. I talk to my family almost every day and have seen them on the occasions that I've been home since the beginning of the school year. But there is nothing I am more excited to do than squeeze my friends and never let go. Whether they were a couple hours away or across the country, three months is way too long to go without seeing them everyday. I can’t wait to reunite with all my friends over Thanksgiving break and catch each other up on everything that is going on in our lives and on all the good gossip.

4) Food: and not just my mom’s homemade food; Thanksgiving food too!! After eating what could be considered a diet consisting of primarily french fries from the dining hall and soup for the past three months, I am so looking forward to having all my favorite foods when I go home- even if that means I am going to eat a ton of calories in a very small period of time (calories don't count when you're on break right?). And of course, can’t forget the Thanksgiving leftovers that will definitely be coming back to school with me!

5) Sleeping In My Own Bed: There is just something that makes my home bed seem like the biggest, fluffiest, most comfiest piece of furniture after sleeping in a cramped, twin sized, bunk bed for the past three months.

6) Showering Without Shoes: There is beauty in the little things in life and showering without shoes is definitely one of those little things. Finally, I can enjoy a shower without wondering who was in the shower before me and why they would leave so much hair all over. Thank you, God.

7) Sleeping In: Finally; some much-needed rest and relaxation after midterms and right before finals! When on break, no alarms need to be set, no work needs to get done, and no effort needs to go into your appearance. That last one sounds like something to truly be thankful for in itself.

8) Black Friday Shopping: This one definitely might not be for everyone, but if you and your friends are anything like mine, we go hard. Sure, we aren’t really searching for any deals per say, but the thrill of going out super late on Thanksgiving night into Friday morning is enough to make anyone look forward to the Black Friday madness.

9) Finally Catching Up On My Shows: After desperately trying to constrain myself from looking at any spoilers or talking to my friends that are caught up, I am very prepared to claim my spot on the couch and get up to date on all my favorite shows. And of course, we can’t forget the traditional Macy’s parade and football games that are on all Thanksgiving Day!

10) Going To My Favorite Hometown Spots: Whether it’s eating at a couple little restaurants, visiting my old high school to catch up with my favorite teachers, or just taking a walk around the neighborhood, nothing beats being back in your hometown and taking a trip down memory lane- even if it's only for a little bit.

And just like that, Thanksgiving break is over and us college students trek back to school to finish the semester out strong, or at least give it out best shot. I hope everyone has a great time visiting their hometowns and has a Happy Thanksgiving!! Now, how many days until Winter Break again?

Cover Image Credit: Google

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10 Things To Do In The Lehigh Valley During The Spring

A list of things to do in the Lehigh Valley once the weather gets nicer.

It’s mid-January, and most of us have one thing in common, “Cabin Fever.” We are all waiting for the temperatures to rise, the snow to be gone, and Spring to be ushered in! Here is a list of 10 things to do here in the Lehigh Valley when the weather gets a bit nicer:

1. Take a hike through Jacobsburg State Park

2. Visit Bethlehem, Easton, or Allentown

3. Take the family out to an IronPigs ball game

4. Taste the ice cream at Klein Farms in Easton

5. Take a hike throughout Columcille Megalith Park

6. Shop for fresh local produce and snacks at the Easton Farmers Market

7. Experience history firsthand while walking on the Bethlehem Steel Trestle Walk

8. Take a hike through Illick’s Mill Park

9. Eat at the Bayou in Easton or Momma Ninas in Bethlehem

10. Head over to the Saylorsburg Flea Market to find all sorts of treasures

These are just a few of the countless places to explore, eat, hike, or shop in the Lehigh Valley, what else would you add to the list?`

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What Christmas Means To Me: An Atypical Prayer

You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

This last Christmas, my grandfather gave me the opportunity to write the grace and prayer that is read before Christmas Dinner. Though it may not sound much like a typical prayer or a traditional grace, it sounded a little something like this:

"When I think of Christmas, I think of this moment right here. The one where we are all gathered together, bound together by love in a place where so many memories have been made. It’s the time that we get to spend together that makes Christmas so special, not the presents, not the food (though it is delicious and I’ll never say no to another one of Grandma’s cookies), but instead the bond that we continue to strengthen each and every year when we come together.

So this Christmas, I am thankful to be surrounded by a family that loves me. As I said in an article of mine that came out earlier this week, “never is the love in my house one-sided”, and that rings true here today. God has given us this holiday not only to celebrate Christ’s birth but also to remind us that the love of this family is never one-sided. It reminds us how special this family is, and how lucky we are to have one another.

I could not ask for better people to have in my life. I could not ask for better grandparents to teach me so many life lessons and to be there whenever I needed someone to turn to, parents that raised me into the strong, independent, and loving young woman that I am today, and a sister that I’ve become so much closer to this year and am proud to call my best friend. I could not ask for a better aunt and uncle that have never failed to make me feel loved and are always there to support me in everything that I do, and cousins that always take time to make sure I’m ok and give life advice that has helped shape who I am as I grow up. I could not ask for better little boys to be my little boys and bring joy and laughter to my life, and a dog that makes me happy to come home and I can always count on for kisses.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but not for the reasons many people may think. It’s not because of the presents, or the cookies (though I do love them so please make as many as you can Grandma), but because of the love, I get to experience on this day. Family is where life starts and the love never ends, and in this family, this rings true. You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never-ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

Merry Christmas, I love you all with all my heart."

Christmas may be over, but the words in this prayer still ring true. Though people change and every holiday is different in its own way, these words will forever ring true.

Cover Image Credit: Nancy Summer

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