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Dec 03 2015
by Kayla Reardon

My Thanksgiving Away from Home

By Kayla Reardon - Dec 03 2015
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Here, at the lovely Northwestern University, our Thanksgiving break happens 2 weeks before winter break. This might seem great to some – having a little break before reading week and exam week. To others it can be a mild inconvenience or even just a weird time gap.

My family offered for me to go home – which is in North Carolina – for Thanksgiving. I turned them down. I knew how expensive flights can be – and being who I am as a person, I hate when they have to spend money on me for stuff that I do not really need. Not to mention the fact that I had classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and classes on the Monday that followed. I also only have one exam on the Monday of exam weeks. It did not make sense to me to go home and then come back for – literally – a little over a week of school. So I stayed.

My dorm is a very close community. A small group of us stayed on campus for Thanksgiving. People went into the city, watched movies, had FIFA tournaments, and bonded. One night we played a game that involved running – from a secret killer – around the dorm.

On Thanksgiving Day some other people in my dorm and I went to the Evanston YMCA and packaged meals that we would later deliver to people in the community. It was a great way to connect with our community but also with each other. Not to mention a little community service never hurt anyone.

We had our own Thanksgiving dinner atop one of Evanston’s nice apartment buildings. The dinner featured turkey, fresh fruit, potatoes, gravy, cornbread, and a lovely view of Chicago and Lake Michigan. It was a true bonding experience and everyone seemed to have a great time.

My friend, who also is from NC and going to school in IL, came to visit and we spent a day in the city and she spent the night which was really cool. It was great being able to catch up and hangout like we did back in high school.

Did I get a little lonely staying on campus? Maybe. Did I miss my roommate and my other friends who went home? Yes. Did I miss my family? Yes, but I knew that I’d get to see them soon. It did help that Family Weekend had happened recently so it was not like I had not seen them all quarter. My family called me during their dinner and that was nice.

Looking back on it I don’t think I would have done my Thanksgiving any differently. I love the community I have built at Northwestern. It’s great the way we all support each other and staying here over break and hanging out with everyone only solidified that even more.

Lead Image: Flickr

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Kayla Reardon - Northwestern University

Kayla Reardon is a freshman at Northwestern University majoring in journalism. She had several stories published in her hometown paper during her senior year of high school. She enjoys tumblr, music, and scary movies. Follow her on twitter @KaylaSReardon.

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