5 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving If You're Not Going Home

5 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving If You're Not Going Home


Whether you're snowed in, can't get off work, or are saving up to go home for winter break instead, plenty of students find themselves staying behind as the dorms clear out and the lecture halls fall silent. While it may not be your traditional Thanksgiving without your old room and prying extended family members, don't worry! You still have lots of options to make this Thanksgiving a memorable one.

Need a few ideas? You could…

Try going home with a friend.

At least one friend will likely open their home to you. If they live nearby, see how their family does Thanksgiving. Don't be shy - just because you can't get back to your home doesn't mean you still can't have a home-cooked Thanksgiving feast.


Thanksgiving isn't just about mashed potatoes and football. There's always a local non-profit organization that can use volunteers, but this is especially magnified around this time of the year. Get in the Thanksgiving spirit and see if you can volunteer at a soup kitchen, hospital, or shelter - anywhere you can help give back.

Celebrate on-campus.

Lots of schools host Thanksgiving dinners for students sticking around campus. Take Ohio State - every year, they hold a Thanksgiving feast for their students, complete with 120 turkeys and 180 pies last year. Your college may not go this big, but chances are, they're hosting something special for students who stay around campus this Thanksgiving, too. Check with Student Activities, Campus Dining, or the Dean of Students Office to see what your college has planned.


Hold Friendsgiving.

There's no way you're the only one staying put for Thanksgiving. Get a turkey with all the fixin's (or pizza, because, hey, this is Friendsgiving), invite some friends over or throw the party at their place, and spend the holiday with the family you got to choose.

Do a local Turkey Trot.

The feast awaits, so you might as well run off some calories beforehand. Find a Thanksgiving-themed race near you, and consider checking around to see if any other students staying on campus want to join in. Who knows - it may even become a new Thanksgiving tradition!

Prefer something a little more low-key? Instead, take this time to get ahead on school work, catch up on your favorite show, and just enjoy the peace and quiet around campus. Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, order takeout, and de-stress. Give yourself some "you" time, and it'll make the final push to winter break that much less stressful.

Related: Quiz: Which Thanksgiving Dessert Are You?

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