Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your . . .

[insert sound of a screeching record]

Wait, this is the wrong holiday (even though I am completely okay with the winter holiday season beginning in November).

Yes, it is the season for pumpkin everything, turkey, and stressing out about Black Friday (whether you are the unfortunate employee working it for multiple hours on end for it or the person fighting for the deals for holiday gifts). Whether you can't wait to hug your family (read: your dog) or you are forced to go home due to your residence hall closing, here are some feelings you might experience before going home for Turkey Day:

1. Excitement

Yes! A break from classes, on-campus work, and everything else. 99.99% of the time, academic breaks are one of the main things college students are most thankful for, along with extensions on assignments and "class canceled" emails. Plus, you know, there is all the food that your family is making to be excited about as well.

2. Nervous

If this is your first semester of college or simply the first time being away from your family for an extended period of time, you might be nervous about what your family might ask you when passing around the gravy.

3. Stress

While most people might be looking forward to being in the same physical space as their family instead of seeing them through a screen or hearing their voice on the phone, others might be dreading it. Keep in mind that every family, no matter how happy they might look, has its own issues. Also, stress might be due to the packing that you still have not done yet.

4. Rushing to pack before your building closes for the weekend


Many residence halls close the evening before Thanksgiving. If you are the unfortunate person working the last shift at your job before Thanksgiving, this may give you less time to pack if you are not the best at your time management or your professors decide that squeezing that last class session in before the holiday weekend.

5. Not looking forward to the traffic

Whether you have your relative pick you up or you are driving yourself back, traffic is still a fact of life the week of Thanksgiving. I will be driving myself to my parents’ house in my hometown . . . the day before Thanksgiving. If you have not had this experience yet, imagine rush hour traffic times ten. For Rutgers-New Brunswick students, imagine Route 18 South during afternoon rush hour times 5.

6. Leaving knowing you’ll be doing homework

Looking at you, professors who have assignments due during that weekend. You could just as easily have completed these assignments before you left for Turkey Day weekend . . . if those professors did not exist on the same wavelength as the other ones whose assignments you just completed before leaving.

7. Sitting through the traffic

It's not even at the point where this traffic is moving, we're just sitting here. If you are alone in the car, this is a great time to be preparing your conversation diverters for family conversation. If not, just try to keep the conversation going with whatever relative decided to pick you up.

8. Wondering how you will get home alive because of the . . . interesting people . . . on the road.

Yes, Janice, I know that you want to get home too, but so does the college student who has not had her dad's chicken parm in months. Don't you dare try to cut me off or try to pull that shit where you are cutting across three lanes of traffic in order to avoid missing your exit. Really though, is it necessary for everyone to be in a rush when the Thanksgiving meal is served the next day?

9. Relief that you made it home in one piece

Now that I have survived the war that is the main freeways and bridges, I can now sit on my living room couch and have my parents question me about what direction I will be going with my life.

Happy Break everyone!