Thanksgiving is a time when families get together to eat a huge turkey dinner and mashed potatoes with homemade gravy. Not being able to go home for the holiday break can be difficult for many college students, especially if it is their first holiday away from home.
Pacific University is home to many Hawaiian students who cannot easily go back home for a quick visit. Airline tickets are expensive and living as a college student is taxing as well, meaning many students do not make it home for Thanksgiving. Sophomore Alesha Casayuran experienced her first Thanksgiving alone last year as a freshman.
“I felt really homesick because my family is very close and Thanksgiving is something that my family members enjoy,” Alesha said. “I ended up Face Timing my family. And even though we can call and stuff, it was not the same as sharing a meal with them.”
Alesha’s twin sister, Alssie Casayuran, stayed at school last Thanksgiving as well.
“I felt really left out,” Alssie said. “It is like everyone left and I was very depressed.”
One of the perks of staying on campus during Thanksgiving is that Na Haumana O Hawaii (NHOH) usually assembles a Thanksgiving event, which gives students a chance to come together and share a meal because they know how hard it is for students who cannot go back home.
Alssie was very pleased with the food at last year’s Thanksgiving meal hosted by NHOH.
“It is not so bad because you will see you family in a few weeks after Thanksgiving,” Aleesha said. “Just get through your finials and then go home and relax.”