On Campus For Thanksgiving? Ideas For Celebrating


The day of thanks

Thanksgiving is one of the most well-loved holidays in the US, mainly because there’s no better way to spend your time than sharing it with your loved ones over massive amounts of food.

Celebrated every year on the third Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, pie and, of course, family time. However, not all of us are lucky enough to get away from campus every holiday. Some of you may even be facing your first holiday away from home.

I know that the idea of spending a holiday away from your family can be disheartening, but don’t let yourself get sad, there are always ways you can still have fun and share this day with a fun group of people.

Invite friends for Friendsgiving: colleges are filled to the brim with people, so if you find yourself without the option of heading home for the holidays, chances are you’re going to find other students that will be in the same boat as you.

Here’s an idea, instead of wallowing in your depressive state over not being able to spend Thanksgiving with your family, why don’t you get together with some friends that will also be stuck on campus and make a day of it?

Friendsgiving is not a new concept; there are plenty of people out there who, due to distance or finances, are going to be spending Thanksgiving away from home. Get together with those kindred souls and enjoy a fun potluck dinner. Sounds much better than staying in your dorm all by your lonesome watching the parade, right?

Plan in advance: If you’ve decided to go with the Friendsgiving idea, it’s good to have a plan in place, especially if you’re going to host it. First of all, a potluck style dinner would be the easiest way to handle Thanksgiving dinner at a dorm, that way you can cover every need there is without having to stress yourself about it.

Make the menu ahead of time, taking into account those friends with food allergies and dietary preferences and designating different dishes to each guest. Since dormitories have quite small kitchens (if you even have one instead of just a hot plate) it makes sense to go with the divide and conquer approach.

Bonus pro tip: neither you nor your friends have to break the bank to have an excellent Friendsgiving meal, there are plenty of lists of student discounts out there just waiting for the taking.

Volunteer: Another great way to spend your Thanksgiving could be volunteering at the local shelter or soup kitchen. If you’ve never volunteered before, you’re in for a treat; nothing feels quite as fulfilling as helping other humans.

Don’t just take my word for it, give it a try, ‘tis the season for giving after all.

Stay in touch with family: While you’re rocking your first Friendsgiving, don’t forget to call your family. The chances are that they’re missing you at home, so take some time out of your day and get in touch. Thankfully, we’re living in the era of communication where, even if you’re far away, you can still see your loved ones through the wonder of the Internet and video calling.


While holidays are usually spent with surrounded by your family, don’t let your first time going solo get you down. There are always options so that you don’t get lonely, from throwing a Friendsgiving dinner to volunteering at a local shelter, and even checking out the Thanksgiving parade.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.


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