The day college students have been waiting for is finally here- the first day of Thanksgiving break! First of all, thank god. The last two days have been horrible for me- I’ve been waking up at about 6:45am and working (literally) nonstop until 10pm, then going around my room getting it clean and prepared for the next day, and then crawling into bed to fall asleep at around 1am. It’s been pretty terrible, and I am so happy that it is done. Now, I can wake up whenever I want, and start my work without other pressures.
I have a work shift at Residential Life before I leave for Philly today, but I’m looking forward to it, as I love my bosses. My plan for thanksgiving is to go into Philly and stay with Pam. It’ll be really nice to work somewhere that isn’t Bryn Mawr for a change- plus that way it’ll still feel like a break, versus just being alone on the desolate campus. My freshmen year I stayed at Bryn Mawr, and it would have been miserable if two upperclassman hadn’t realized what was happening, so they stayed, too. Anna and Katie were the absolute best, and they made my first thanksgiving away from home perfect. Anna cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal in a microwave (including Turkey, pies, string beans, sweet potatoes), and Katie set up the common room TV to connect to her computer so we could watch movies. We spent the break all together, never separated. It started to snow in the morning, and I, being from Florida, ran outside and played in it as Katie and Anna watched me from the windows. We ate an entire jar of speculoos cookie butter while we watched the Thanksgiving parade. It was magical.
My sophomore year, Anna and I took a trip to visit our friend Skyler in Chatham, New Jersey. Anna and Skyler had both grown up in Chatham, so they knew each other from before College. I had met Skyler my freshmen year before she transferred to Rutgers. Anna and I drove up together in Anna’s car, and I was in charge of making mixed tapes long enough for our drive. As we got closer and closer to Skyler’s house, the sky began to look more and more like it would snow. As we pulled into the borough of Chatham, little snowflakes began to dust the ground. We were greeted by Skyler’s mother, Cindy, with hot sandwiches that tasted like doughnuts. We all slept in Skyler’s room. We got to play with her dog, help her parents cook thanksgiving dinner, and met her entire family. Skyler and Anna took me to a local bakery and we had “real” bagels, because apparently the bagels I had been eating in Florida weren’t actual bagels- they were right.
My junior year, Pam and I went to D.C. to have Thanksgiving with her family. This was the first time that I had met Pam’s second and third eldest siblings, along with Patty (Pam’s sister-in-law), her nieces, and family friends. Patty is an amazing cook, and she made such an amazing dinner. I played with Pam’s nieces, and got to know her family a bit better. I was kind of nervous to go to D.C. beforehand, mostly because I wanted to make a good impression on her family, but I really enjoyed myself (and Pam said they liked me phew). Patty “accidentally” forgot to serve Pam’s favorite pie at dinner, so she loaded Pam and I up with lots of food to take back to college. I drove to and from Bryn Mawr, so this time Pam was in charge of music.
Thinking back on my college Thanksgiving experiences, I’m reminded of how meaningful they are to me. They all touch my heart in some special way, and I find myself longing for those moments once again. All of them were made possible by people coming together- friends, my girlfriend, miscellaneous adults- to make someone far from home feel loved, welcomed, and for a moment, part of the family. Being away from home on a day where so many people are together is kind of hard, but people over the last few years have really come together to make me feel cared for.