When you can’t go home for the holidays

Thanksgiving brings a lot of excitement, with students all over campus asking each other where they are headed and what they’ll be doing during their time off. If you’re staying on campus during the break all this excitement can make you feel ostracized, but it doesn’t have to. Here are a few ways you can stave off the loneliness that can come with staying on campus during Thanksgiving week.

Host a Friendsgiving While it may feel like it at times, we promise that you will not be the only one on campus this week. Round up friends and dormmates who are also staying on campus and host your own Thanksgiving dinner. Each friend can bring a dish they love or have friends pitch in and pick up the whole meal from a local grocery store.

Volunteer If you can’t find anyone to dine with, why not volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen? Check out Meals on Wheels, an organization that delivers meals to the elderly. You’ll probably find that helping others is a great distraction that will put you in a great mood.

Campus Events Check your campus calendar. Many schools have organized events on Thanksgiving day. The Ohio State University, for example, hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner that started as a small student gathering and now serves over 1,500 guests who can’t make it home for the holiday. Last year they served 120 turkeys and 432 pounds of green beans!

Local Adventure Explore the area. You may know the area around your campus well but there is so much to see just a bit further out. Visit the closest big city or go hiking in a state park, you’ll be amazed at what’s just beyond your school.

Study We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t suggest you take some of this time to study. The campus is extra quiet and free of its normal distractions, so why not take advantage and hit the books? Finals are right around the corner, wouldn’t it be nice to feel prepared instead of experiencing the stress-induced ulcers that come with an all-night cram session?