6 Reasons Why Your First Thanksgiving Break Was The Best And Worst Week Ever

6 Reasons Why Your First Thanksgiving Break Was The Best And Worst Week Ever

The long awaited Thanksgiving break: five days full of eating and reminiscing that make you miss your college friends more than you ever thought was possible

If you’re anything like me, your countdown to Thanksgiving break began at the end of October, right after that second round of midterms. When the going got tough (and we both know, it got tough), you pushed yourself through knowing that your first big trip home was getting closer and closer. As a freshman, I was very curious to see how this week would go. Would it be the same with all of my hometown friends? Is my bed really as comfy as I remember it being? So many of my questions were quickly answered (yes and yes) and I was right back into the suburban groove. Believe it or not, the long-awaited few days have quickly come and gone, and back we go to the daily grind. Between stuffing my face, I was able to reflect on my week and come up with the 6 reasons why your first Thanksgiving break back home is the best/worst week ever.

1. Food, food, and more food - and no, not like the dining hall buffet

There is nothing truly like the comfort of a Thanksgiving meal - especially when all you’re used to is ramen, cereal, and the dining hall pizza. Whether that be a giant, homemade stuffed turkey or just a heated up eight pounder from HEB (@ my mom), nothing is better. However, the best part for me isn’t even the turkey - it’s the giant trays of leftovers that, if your parents are generous like mine, you get to take back to your dorm to treat yourself to throughout the next week.

2. There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed

Even though for the last three months, your college room has become your new home, there really is nothing like snuggling up in your own bed, surrounded by the comfort of familiarity. Of course, this comfort is so much more than just your soft sheets - it’s the relief of knowing you don’t have to set an alarm for something, the warmth of your dog snuggling up next to you, and the smell of Yankee Candles and coffee when you wake up in the morning. In addition, if you’re a little too spirited like me, waking up to the glow of a Christmas tree in your room isn’t too horrible either.

3. The first time the whole squad is back together again

While, of course, the few little weekend visits with a some of your hometown besties were much needed, this was the first time that all of your friends from near and far were all back together in your hometown. I, like I’m sure many of you, was really nervous going into this week because I was constantly wondering if my friends and I just weren’t going to click anymore either because they changed, or even worse, I changed. You always hear people say “Oh yeah, high school friends are great, but it’s your college friends that will be in your wedding,” so naturally, there is this assumption that you will drift from your friends that you grew up with. However, these fears immediately disappeared as we still laughed about the same things, went to the same places, and loved getting to share stories about our new friends and crazy experiences with each other.

4. Not really a break - hello to my three tests the week we get back

Calling thanksgiving break a ‘break’ is so connotatively wrong. For most of us, we don’t get to actually come home until Tuesday night, so our seemingly long, leisurely break is actually only 4 days plus the treacherous move-back-into-college Sunday. While whether or not your break was actually consumed with homework depends on how big of a procrastinator you are, but I guarantee that this next week’s workload is not looking good for you, considering this is the last week of school before finals. I wanted nothing more than to just lay on the couch and catch up on all of my Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder that my lack of DVR and free time has stolen from me, however, all of my time was spent cramming for my calculus test on Tuesday. So much for relaxation...

5. Such a Christmas tease

I don’t know if it was because my parents went all out with the pre-Thanksgiving Christmas decorations or because this is the first semi-chilly week Texas has had this year, but all week I wanted nothing more than to cuddle up by my tree and watch The Polar Express with some hot chocolate, only to realize it’s not even December yet. While the Starbucks cups are finally red, Michael Buble’s Christmas album is on repeat, and my fuzzy Christmas socks have made multiple appearances, it can’t be Christmas season until ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas has begun. #hurry

6. Missing your college friends

Though I’m sure you could not wait to be home, I bet it took you about two days to realize how stinkin’ much you missed all of your college besties. In my opinion, college is as great as it is because it’s just like extended summer camp (plus some really tough tests) with all of your best friends. From the daily ‘hey wanna eat’ texts to the typical 5 pm ‘what are we doing tonight’ question, I think it took being apart for more than a day to realize how much you’ve come to be inseparable with this very special group of people. It’s only been three months, yet I found so many genuine people that I never want to live without - whether it’s to laugh with, to cry with, or to study with, each person that has stepped into my life since that very scary move-in day has made a lasting impact on me and my outlook on the rest of my life more than each of them could ever imagine.

Well, friends, Thanksgiving break is now over. We came, we ate, we conquered, and back we go to reunite with our people and finish out the semester strong!

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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6 Ways To Start Pre-Gaming Your Summer Plans Today

A few ways to help you prepare for summer.


Summer is coming sooner rather than later and we all need to get ready for it.

1. Start making trip plans now.


If you are wanting to do a getaway over the summer, I would suggest starting to plan for the trip now. The closer you get to the time in which you want to go, the higher the prices of plane tickets and rooms go up. Also planning ahead gives you the chance to pinpoint exactly how you want to spend your trip and not waste your time. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and being stuck at the hotel the whole time because you have no idea what is our there for you to do.

2. Buy sunscreen.

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Do you really want to end up like her? I don't think so. Even if you are the type of person with the mentality that you will only be out in the sun for a short period of time, it doesn't matter. We all need sunscreen. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and we need to take care of it. Think of it this way, do you want to have sunspots when you're old? Or would you rather maintain your youthful appearance for as long as you can?

3. Find a new hobby.


Let's be honest here for a minute, the majority of us do absolutely nothing over summer break and feel no guilt for it. I have done this several times over the years, and I now look back and realize all the time I wasted not learning or doing something new. If you are working full-time, have summer school, or a summer internship this does not apply to you unless you have the time to do so.

For the rest of y'all, get up and learn something. Learn how to knit. Take a kickboxing class. Try out new hiking places. Start learning another language, or continue practicing the one you learned in school at places where the language is commonly used. Get outside of your comfort zone!

4. De-stress and dispose.

You are so close to summer sometimes it stresses you out trying to get everything done. You need to realize that summer isn't going anywhere and you will get there eventually. Take a deep breathe and keep going. What I like to do is start throwing out the paperwork from this semester that I know I will never use again, don't want, and papers that I don't plan on using for the upcoming final. Disposing of those papers helps me visualize that the semester is almost over.

5. Buy a new swimsuit.


Before you go out and buy a bunch of new swimsuits, try your old ones on first and see if they fit. Sometimes you just need a new top to match the bottoms that you already have or vice versa. Also, if you know that you are not going to buy a swimsuit for the pool or beach several times throughout the summer, don't waste your money on a new swimsuit. The one from last year that you never wore will do just fine.

Save Money

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The simplest way to understand it is no saving = no money to spend during summer. If you have all kinds of different trips and things you want to do that cost a fee, it would be wise to start saving up for all of your other expenses that you would normally have to pay per month like insurance, phone, or a car payment. I will be in the car payment category since I just bought a new one a few weeks ago.

That being said, my first car payment is due the week I am in New York. I don't want my New York money to be used for a car payment, so I've been taking extra shifts at work to compensate. I have also started going through my closet and selling the items I don't want anymore. There are several resale stores and places online for you to sell your unwanted clothes and other items to put some extra cash in your pocket.

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