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Staying on Campus During Thanksgiving Break

Are you thinking that if you come to the University of Rochester you won’t be able to fly home for Thanksgiving? No worries! With such a geographically diverse population, you wouldn’t be the only one. I’m from Seattle, and with a roundtrip ticket costing as much as it does just to be home for a few days, I’m not going home this Thanksgiving. Although many people do go home for Thanksgiving, staying on campus, finding a friend to take you in for the holiday, or going on adventures in the Rochester area are options for those of us who can’t. One of my friends is from Germany and she went to New York City to spend time with her boyfriend. Another one of my friends is from Oregon and went to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving. Here are the things I did over Thanksgiving break:

Black Friday shenanigans at Forever 21

1. Work

With no schedule whatsoever on the first couple days of break, I was able to be productive. I work best by myself in silence, so it was a great time to get a lot done. I had a to-do list of about fifteen items and finished them all.

2. Chill

I also had plenty of time to use as I pleased, which included watching Phineas and Ferb, knitting, and Skyping with people back home. I appreciated all the free time to relax and unwind. It was a welcome change from my typically busy schedule.

3. Invite new friends to my room for a game night

By the end of the first day of break, I was dying for human contact, so I posted in the group chat for Gilbert Hall inviting anybody still on campus to come to my room to play UNO. A few guys came over and we enjoyed games and tea for a couple hours. It was really nice.

Thanksgiving dinner in the Gilbert Community Lounge
Thanksgiving dinner in the Gilbert Community Lounge
Mini hike to Chimney Bluffs
Mini hike to Chimney Bluffs

4. Enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner in the Gilbert Community Lounge

An RA cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner for anybody on the quad to enjoy. Before I knew about it, I was disappointed that I wouldn’t get to eat a Thanksgiving dinner, so it was great to get one.

5. Go to Chimney Bluffs

A couple weeks before break, I’d asked my friend Andie to “take me out on the town” so I could have something to do. She graciously agreed and over the break she took me to Chimney Bluffs along with a couple of her friends. We had a little Thanksgiving-y picnic before taking a mini hike to the Bluffs.

6. Go Black Friday shopping

After going to Chimney Bluffs, Andie and I went to Eastview Mall for some Black Friday shopping. I was going to go with a couple people who were also on campus by taking the shuttle to Eastview, but I got back too late to make it. We went to Lush, Yankee Candle, Forever 21, Payless Shoesource, and Teavana. Normally I go Black Friday shopping with my sister, and while this wasn’t the same, I’m glad I still got to go.

7. Thrift shopping, followed by a quick visit to my friend’s house

My friend Claire lives in Irondequoit and we went thrift shopping on Sunday. After that, she drove me to her house, where I got some Thanksgiving leftovers and time with her adorable cat.


Overall, it was kinda nice to stay on campus during Thanksgiving break. It was an introvert’s paradise and there were some nice things about it. There were some downsides, though. As said by Shawn Cummings, “It’s a nice break from normal hectic campus life at the expense of feeling like you’re in a ghost town.” To be totally honest, I still wish I could have spent Thanksgiving with my family. I miss my house, my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my cats, and all the comforts of home. But luckily, winter break isn’t too far away!

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