Students on campus for holidays may struggle with lack of food, loneliness

posted in: Opinion | 0

November 27: Everyone is packing up and heading home, giving each other tearful goodbyes to last the four days till they see each other again and vacating the resident halls. And there I am, sitting on my empty couch in my empty six-person suite, beginning my four-day-long Netflix Marathon.

Contrary to popular belief, there are actually students here over Thanksgiving break that aren’t from Hawaii and not covered by the Hawa’ii club’s generous grocery shopping trips and Thanksgiving dinners.

My trek home wouldn’t have included a four-hour plane ride, just a quick hop, skip and an eight-hour drive back to Northern California. Needless to say, with 20 miles to the gallon and Winter break just a week away, I decided to sit this Thanksgiving out.

I was one of two people on the Gilbert first floor that week. I’ll admit, running down the hall in my makeshift batman costume without having to worry about getting caught was magnificent, but once that wore off, things got a little lonely.

I guess I should offer a disclaimer and say that I had a good friend in the Boxer apartments and we did some serious adventure timing, so I wasn’t in complete solitude. When I was, I have to admit I enjoyed sprawling out on my couch with a feast of top ramen around me, blasting through two seasons of “Chuck.”

I was lucky. I had a friend nearby and I was in a nice apartment with a kitchen. Not everyone I know had the same experience. I felt for the freshmen that had the same problem I did, nowhere to go for Thanksgiving and no food from the Hawa’ii club or the UC.

I have this picture in my head of the handful of Walter freshmen coming together on thanksgiving and eating their cereal or Twinkies together in the Walter lobby, probably not the case, but a girl can dream.

I was fortunate, I got to spend my first Thanksgiving away from home learning to play Mahjong in Clackamas when I crashed a friend’s family get-together. I was one of the three people there who didn’t speak a lick of Chinese, but it turned out to be a great story, nonetheless.

I keep saying I was lucky because I feel like my Thanksgiving break here was a lot better than the people who weren’t lucky enough to have a friend, a car and a full(ish) cupboard. If I had been stuck in this situation last year, as a freshman in Clark, my break probably would have gone much differently (flash to me loathing in self-pity and stuffing my face with Cheerios)

Being on campus over Thanksgiving really can be an awesome break from reality if you have the right people around you like I did. I suppose I just wish the school did something for those students who aren’t as lucky. There are quite a few of us who still can’t afford to go home, even though we live on the mainland and I think we deserve a Thanksgiving too.


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