My Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

My Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

Traditions are what make Thanksgiving feel so special!
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As a kid, I didn't really appreciate Thanksgiving. I just wanted Thanksgiving to be over so it could be Christmas! As I've gotten older, and gone to college, I have grown to love it. Not only does it give me a reason to go home but also because I love getting to spend time with my family.

When my dad and stepmom got married, their wedding was the weekend before Thanksgiving. They went on their honeymoon, and I went to go stay with my grandma, aunt, uncles, cousins, etc. The next year, we began a 'tradition.' Every Thanksgiving since they got married, the four of us have all individually chosen what dish we want to make. My dad always does the turkey. I'm not very good at cooking, so I stick to making a salad or sometimes the stuffing, or dressing, depending on where you're from. We eat around 4:00 and then let all of the food digest. We always go around the table and all state what we're thankful for. An hour or two after dinner, it's time for pie! We typically have an apple pie or pumpkin pie. You can't have Thanksgiving without pie!

Another tradition we have in my house is that we all just relax, and sometimes stay in our pajamas all day. My dad will sometimes make pumpkin bread out of the box from Trader Joe's, which is something my family and I are obsessed with. We all sit in the living room and watch the Macy's Day Parade. We don't have anywhere to be or anything that must get done, except for making the food, of course.

A tradition that has happened the past three to four years is something we will no longer be able to do! Every Friday after Thanksgiving, we would go out as a family and see the new movie in the Hunger Games trilogy. I guess we'll have to find a new movie to see together.

My all time favorite tradition we have done over the past few years is what we do on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We go out to lunch with some family friends and then we go to the local nursery and pick out a Christmas tree! I think my stepsister and I both wish our ceilings were super tall so we could get a ten-foot tree, but we settle on a five or six-foot tree.

Of course, Thanksgiving is not just a day about food and eating. It is also a time to be thankful. I know that I am very thankful for my family and my relationships with them. I am thankful for so much, I could dedicate an article just to that.

I'll end on the note of saying, Happy Thanksgiving!

Cover Image Credit: Cafe Escadrille

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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The Struggle of Taking Classes During the Summer

It can put a bit of a damper on summer fun

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To everyone reading: I hope you're having a nice, relaxing summer. Even if you're working I hope you can get a few days off to hang out with friends, go to the beach, and have some nice downtime. Not me. I am currently in the process of completing two four-week long summer classes. I'm taking them now to get ahead for next semester and to keep my overall schedule on track. It certainly isn't fun, but the reminder that it is only four weeks is what really keeps me going. If you are in the same boat as me, you'll relate to this list like no one else can; if you're not taking summer classes, don't let this list scare you, but use it to mentally prepare yourself for any you may have in the future.

1. Studying and homework

The homework isn't too bad with some summer classes just because you don't have time for a lot of intense projects. Still, since the class is so short you have to do some kind of homework pretty much every day. Make a schedule and spread it out so you don't get too behind.

2. Actually going to class

I am in two classes. One meets in person every day from 10 am to 11:45 am. The other is online. Let me be the first to say that getting up for class during the normal semesters is hard enough, but knowing my little brother gets to sleep in while I have to wake up early and go class is a real motivation suppressant.

I will say, though, it's kind of nice being on campus when it's basically empty.

3. No going out...

You'll probably be a little down because you might not be able to really go out at all during the time you're in class. For me, I go to lecture every morning, come home and do homework for that class, then do homework for my online class. I have some free time on the weekends, but I try to use those lecture-free days to study or work on papers.

4. But being super busy

Even though you might not be able to go out like a summer off, you'll be keeping yourself busy with all that super fun homework I mentioned.

5. Stress

Yes, summer classes can be a little stressful and it's pretty much all thanks to how fast-paced they are. Just do what I do: make a homework and project schedule as soon as you can and remind yourself how short it is.

Summer classes are not the worst thing in the world, and if you choose to take one at some point it won't be absolutely horrible. The nice thing about them is it's like ripping off a Band-Aid; it may be a little painful and annoying, but it's over so fast you don't suffer. Pick your class and professor wisely and get down to business; taking the class means you're one step closer to graduation!

So, to anyone else taking a summer class: good luck and you got this!

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