Go home, eat food, be happy this holiday

Anna Lang

I’m one of the people who says they hate going home for breaks.

Like most, I don’t particularly enjoy having my parents constantly ask me what I’m going to be doing that night, about the men in my life or what I want to do with myself in the future — getting asked the same questions repeatedly is overwhelming, and going home is supposed to be a time to relax and not have to worry about anything, right?

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I’ve realized this isn’t the right attitude to have when it comes to going home, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels this way. College students shouldn’t dread going home, we should embrace it, especially because we for the most part don’t get to spend that much time with our families while embarking on a university education and finding our place in the world. 

Besides, going home isn’t all that bad — there are the home-cooked meals, talking to my sister and playing euchre with my siblings and parents. I really don’t have to worry about school. Since I live in the residence halls, it’s also a welcomed opportunity to get away from campus life, if even for only a little bit.

But going home also means celebrating the holidays and continuing traditions — everyone knows that. But we forget that sometimes, especially when our weekends at college feel more entertaining than those spent on our parent’s couch or talking to our grandma at the dinner table.

Additionally, since I live eight hours away from home, going back for just a weekend isn’t something I do often. During the summers, I work at a summer camp three hours from my home, so really the only time I get to see my family is during the holidays. I’m guessing many students are in a similar situation.

But on Thanksgiving, like many families, we go around the table and all say things we are grateful for. Since I’m half- Korean, we also get to enjoy Korean food in addition to American favorites. Although we have our meal fairly early in the day, we sit around late into the night, nursing our food comas. It may seem like a typical Thanksgiving experience, but it’s made all the better by traditions, conversations and the knowledge that time spent with family is limited when you’re in college.

That said, Black Friday, which has been historically reserved for the day after Thanksgiving, is beginning to creep into the celebration of family, friends and tradition. Wal-Mart will be offering its deals at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28, while Target is opening its doors at 8 p.m. It’s crazy that corporations would disregard Thanksgiving just to make money.

Yet while spending time with my family is something that I look forward to, regardless of the fact that it requires answering a lot of questions about my future, love life, grades etc. Thanksgiving is also meant to be a time to reflect and be thankful for what we have. Instead of rushing out the door after I finish eating just to stand in line at some big-box store, I am going to stay home and enjoy the little time I have with my family. I suggest other students try to do the same. It’s not worth getting a sweet deal on a new PS4, I promise.

Instead of shopping, battling long lines and packed parking lots, I’d like to suggest some traditional, but as of recently more “alternative,” options for the days following Thanksgiving.

My family has always gone Christmas tree shopping the weekend following Thanksgiving. While decorating the tree is usually a lackluster effort, shopping for the tree is the best part. We’ll all run around, keeping each other in shouting distances to compare trees. My mom always has the final say.

When you’re home over Thanksgiving, don’t try to spend every minute out of the house. Don’t use Black Friday as an excuse to get away from your family. Instead, stay home and relax. Enjoy doing things you only get to do while you’re home. I bet it won’t be as bad as you think.