For this year's Thanksgiving break, I’ve made the decision to stay on campus.
You may think either, my hometown is far away because I'm probably an out of state or international student, or my family doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving.
Well that can only be further from the case.
My family and I love Thanksgiving, especially the annual grand feast and the entire day preparing for it. And I live almost 400 miles from my college, which is less than the length of California's coastline.
Four hundred miles is about a 6 to 7 hour drive, or a little over an hour flight. It's not far at all compared to some of my friends who decided to go home this long weekend, enduring as long as a five hour flight home. A one hour flight and I should be considering myself as somewhat lucky, but once you hear my reasons for staying behind on an almost empty campus, maybe I will receive less looks of sympathy.
After going home for Thanksgiving last year, I decided it wasn't really worth the money and the hassle to go home for a four day weekend. The rush of going to the airport, the traffic jams on the highway, and the cost of the flight just didn't seem to add up.
Yes, I would miss that full course meal with a giant bird at the center of the table, but that long drive or expensive flight just didn't feel like it could be justified by stuffing myself over the long weekend.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see my family, but with video chat and social media, it's like my parents are right in front of me asking me how school's going or whether I still make my bed every morning. Winter break is only two weeks away...I think I can survive till then.
Lucky for me, both my roommates decided to stay too. And another fortunate aspect is that I go to college with my sister, whom I am really close with.
So my Thanksgiving was still filled with family and friends, just not with the usual crowd and festive gathering. Instead, I went Black Friday shopping and eating at a delicious Indian restaurant with my friends. One can say that Black Friday in Los Angeles is like a festivity of its own. Stores started sales on Thanksgiving day, opening its doors invitingly to its freezing customers.
And because many were still at home feasting, we didn't have to deal with the crowds at the mall or back at the dorms. When it came time to wash our very recently purchased clothes, we had an array of identical washers and dryers to choose to our liking. And when our new additions to our wardrobe were laundrified, but we didn't feel like picking them up from the laundry room yet, we left it in there not having to worry about taking up laundry space. See? It's really not that bad.
Campus looked like a ghost town, and running into people was like a eureka moment in a treasure hunt. I really feel like everyone who stayed on campus over the break developed a sort of connection. The dorms finally offered some peace and quiet. Being at school without classes was relieving and carefree.
My roommates and I slept late and slept in together, a true girls night in. We filled our rooms with shopping bags, and showed off our steals of the weekend to each other. So, if you ever find yourself debating the cost and hassle of traveling home for Thanksgiving break or a long weekend, try staying at school. It just might be one of the most relaxing few days in the midst of finals.