Moving into the college dorms may be the best way to truly experience university life, but when Thanksgiving break comes around it can get awfully lonely on campus when you can’t go home for the holiday.
Whatever the reason, it can get even the least-homesick student down when you can’t share a traditional home-cooked meal with your family and loved ones.
If you’ll be spending the day without your family, there are still plenty of budget-friendly things to do on Thanksgiving, without missing out on any of the festivities or Turkey Day spirit.
What to do on Thanksgiving on campus
1. Host your own “Friendsgiving” meal
This is the perfect chance to invite over your roommates, floormates, and friends for a DIY Thanksgiving dinner. You likely have a small kitchen in your dorm or apartment, so don’t talk yourself into preparing anything too elaborate.
Similarly, don’t squeeze your budget buying expensive ingredients. Chances are, you’ll only need to buy a few turkey breasts (even chicken will do). Add in easy-to-make items like boxed stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and premade biscuits, and you’ve got a pretty complete T-Day dinner.
Better yet, encourage friends to bring a dish, dessert, or beverage, potluck style. It’ll cut down on the cost of grocery shopping, diversify the menu, and give you and your friends a chance to share and be thankful to celebrate together.
Aim for the same if you’ve been invited to someone’s house to join in and celebrate over dinner.
2. Eat out or order in
For those less culinary-inclined, you and your friends always have the option to eat out for dinner. Plenty of local restaurants offer special Thanksgiving menus with all the same dishes you can make at home.
Another alternative is to go the unconventional route and simply order a pizza, Chinese food, or some other comfort food. It’s not mandatory to have a turkey and all the fixings on Thanksgiving, so have fun with your food choices. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make a new Thanksgiving tradition in the process.
3. Organize Thanksgiving Day activities
Meal or no meal, dining in or eating out, spending time with roommates and friends is about doing something fun together.
Organize a friendly football game (or plan to watch one together). You never know who might join in — that’s a chance to make new friends on a day you thought you’d spend alone.
Not the sporting type? Planning a trip to the movies or hosting your own Netflix marathon are perfect things to do on Thanksgiving Day.
If you’re certain you’ll be spending the day alone, aim to make it less solitary by planning something special for yourself. Go for a hike, catch a matinee, or visit a museum solo.
If you’re cooking for one, don’t feel sorry that your holiday is being spent alone. Instead, be grateful and thankful for the time to yourself and recharge your batteries from the hectic pace that college can bring.
Dinner or no dinner, volunteering your time on this day of thanks is a fulfilling way to spend Thanksgiving. Look on your campus bulletin board or online for volunteer opportunities within the surrounding neighborhoods. Consider donating your time at one of these places:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Soup kitchens
- Homeless/domestic violence shelters
- Veterans administrations
- Hospitals and clinics
Charitable groups are always seeking student volunteers — not only during the holidays but year-round. It’s a chance to meet, connect, bond, and eat with other friendly people in your community.
5. Stay connected with family and friends
If money or time constraints prevent you from going home for Thanksgiving, you don’t need to be absent from the lives of your loved ones.
Send out holiday messages and Thanksgiving wishes on social media. Mail greeting cards or early Christmas gifts to family. Arrange a video chat with family members over Thanksgiving dinner.
No matter your method of communicating, your parents, siblings, and relatives will be happy to have you involved in the holiday, even from afar.
Spending Thanksgiving away from home doesn’t have to be solitary if you don’t want it to be. When looking for things to do on Thanksgiving, think about what would be most enjoyable for you.
Taking the time to share a meal, give back to others, connect with friends and family, and devote some “me” time to yourself can make it one of the most memorable holidays to look back upon.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|