With only a few days remaining until the start of Thanksgiving Break, students are ready to go back home and celebrate the holiday with their friends and family.
The final day of class is Tuesday, Nov. 24, with Thanksgiving following on Thursday, Nov. 26. Students share what they have been most grateful for as they reflect on this semester as well as what they look forward to on Thanksgiving Day.
As Thanksgiving is officially the first break of the fall semester, English sophomore Sarabeth Erdner said she feels as though she is now able to hit pause on this difficult semester.
“I am so thankful for my professors [who] have all been understanding with everything I am going through. There is a lot happening in my life right now, and with [COVID-19] on top of it all and juggling classes, getting away from it all for even just a short time will be a chance to breathe again,” Erdner said. “For Thanksgiving, my family and I are road tripping to Destin, Florida. We will be just [at] the beach [with] no schedule to stick to.”
Sarah Gaucher, university studies junior, said she will most likely be using this extended break as a way to advance in her studies before finals week approaches.
“I am going to have to do work through Thanksgiving to ensure I am prepared for finals,” Gaucher said. “Although I am not going to be able to 100 percent remove myself from school, I am excited to have some normalcy in the craziness that has been 2020. I’m looking forward to spending time at home and being able to escape the craziness this year has [brought].”
Similarly, international studies senior Lucas Mendoza said he will reserve some time over the break to complete the remainder of his course load.
“Semester breaks are a good opportunity to catch up on school work and try to get ahead before the finals crunch, so I’ll try not to waste the opportunity,” Mendoza said. “Hopefully, I can balance school work and spending time with friends and family.”
Nevertheless, Mendoza said this does not necessarily dampen his excitement for the plans he has for Thanksgiving.
“On Thanksgiving Day, my uncle is going to deep fry a turkey, which should be a lot of fun. Watching some football will also be a big plus,” Mendoza said. “I hope the day is full of catching up. In past semesters, I would usually have a couple open weekends to go visit my extended family. That hasn’t happened as much this semester, [so] I am grateful for an open couple of days where I can spend time with [them].”
In addition to the break, Gaucher said she is also thankful that she has been able to remain alongside a supportive group of people.
“I am grateful for my friends who I have been able to trek this difficult year with,” Gaucher said. “I think that having others around you who are going through the same challenging times helps make the work and effort more doable.”
Mendoza said he believes the pandemic has truly reminded people the importance of developing and maintaining close relationships.
“Quarantine... made me rethink how I wanted to spend my time during my senior year,” Mendoza said. “Ultimately, while I still want to do well in school, I have tried to set aside more time to be with friends. I have been told by a professor that in 40 years time, all that we will really matter from school are the lasting relationships that we have built. I am grateful for the friendships that I have gained this semester.”