Thanksgiving is typically a day you spend with family eating a big, traditional meal. But for some, who can’t afford to travel home or live too far, it means Chinese food and Netflix. Understandably, it can be rather disheartening, but believe it or not lonely holidays can be survived.
1. Meet New People
First, you can’t possibly be the only one left on campus. So, finding others in your situation can help make the holiday easier… even if you just get together for a fun game night once over the course of the holiday. Most things like the movie theatre are still going to be open for the holidays, so catching a movie, go to a restaurant or ice-skating. These trips can be fun and can give you a chance to make friends with people you never would have met otherwise.
2. Have a Free Meal on Your Schools Dime
Check with your university to find out if they have a special program for students who can’t get home. Schools like Georgetown University, and Ohio State University prepare Thanksgiving meals for students who can’t go home. If your school doesn’t do anything, use the break to practice your angry-letter writing skills.
3. Enjoy the Peace and Quiet and do Schoolwork
Thinking of the holiday as time to relax, can also take the edge off. Instead of moping and wishing you were somewhere else, have a spa day and catch up on homework with finals right around the corner. The extra peace and quiet will make all of these things easier. You’ll probably be ahead of the pack and there’s nothing wrong with that.
4. Get Crafty
Also, it’s about time to start thinking about doing some Christmas shopping. If funds are low, it might be time to start thinking about crafting some Christmas gifts. Doing something that involves creative energy probably isn’t something you’ve done a whole lot of this semester, unless you’re one of those lucky art majors.
Either way, working your way though the Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano can help ease some of that creative tension and you can impress your friends and family when you finally get home for Christmas. Also, books like Wreck This Journal and How to be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith, which prompt you to do things like getting your hands dirty and then make handprints in the book, can be both time-consuming and fun.
If spending time alone just isn’t your thing, there’s always volunteering to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate. Check with your local soup kitchen for opportunities to serve your community. Also, if there is an army base nearby, consider visiting.
Spending the holiday alone, does not have to mean being lonely. In fact, it can be the best week of your semester if you play your cards right and approach it with the right mindset.