The Reality of Thanksgiving Break
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Student Life

The Reality of Thanksgiving Break

What it's really like to return home for Thanksgiving.

The Reality of Thanksgiving Break

When the midterms start winding down, the dining hall food begins to get old, and your sleep schedule averages about four hours a night, you know it’s time for a trip back home. With all your relatives coming to town and all of your lifelong friends returning from school, Thanksgiving break seems to be the week we’ve all been waiting for. The hot, crowded bus ride or obnoxiously long flight all becomes worth it when you finally get to sleep in your own bed. When the family gatherings roll around, you are instantly reminded why you were so excited to leave in the first place. After indulging in pounds of turkey and boatloads of mashed potatoes, after answering enough relatives’ questions about college to last a lifetime and after your parents finally nag you enough to scrub a stack of gravy-stained plates, it’s time to see those hometown friends you’ve been separated from for the past three months.

At first, it may seem that you’ve picked up right where you’ve left off. Although you tell different stories, the inside jokes are still prevalent. Everyone tries to describe their experience in full detail, each story trying to top the last one. The friends that were once inseparable, after momentarily being thousands of miles apart, seem to mend again. But even though it’s only been a few months, in between all the laughs, you notice the differences. What used to be a cloud of comfort over these people who have been so close for years, now seems like a coarse disconnect. It’s obvious that you’ve all grown in your own ways. While some have progressed, others have receded. As you relive the high school days some would die to go back and experience, others are grateful it’s over. Sure, winning the conference football game in overtime and slow dancing with your old crush at homecoming are great stories, but they make better memories. And that’s when the real homesickness kicks in. Subconsciously comparing the immature high school relationships to the new people you’ve met at school, you suddenly begin to miss the people who have made the terrifying concept of college a home. All the friendships you’ve already formed in your first few months, all the friends that you spend days on end with, that’s what you begin to miss. This independent life that you’ve briefly experienced has already become a new normal to you. The all-nighters at the library, the ratchet residence halls, the draining lectures, it’s your new home now. Sure, having community bathrooms and paying to do your laundry is a pain, but that’s part of growing up. And while commemorating the past 18 or so years of your life is soothing, you’ve grown.

On the other hand, Thanksgiving break, in reality, is a tease. After less than a week of conforming back into the comfort of your roots, you must return back to the cornucopia of anxiety, freedom, and carelessness for arguably the most stressful three weeks of the entire school year. It’s reassuring to think that your crazy family will still be there when you get back. And seeing your old friends was pleasant while it lasted. But now, it’s time to go home.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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