Not Going Home for Thanksgiving? Here are 7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Holiday Break


Living in a dorm is a great way to experience college except when you have to watch everyone pack their bags to head home for the holidays (sad times!). Sports, the distance from home, or an expensive plane ticket price are all reasons why you may have to stay behind, but no matter the reason, homesickness can become a painful reality. There may not be anything that compares to your grandma’s mac & cheese at Thanksgiving dinner, but there’s still plenty of fun, budget-friendly holiday festivities to get into on Thanksgiving. Here are 7 ways to get into the holiday spirit:

1. Host a College Friendsgiving

You can’t be the only one stranded on campus for the holidays. Gather a couple of friends, your favorite foods, and get ready for a fun time! Even if it's one friend and a large pizza, spend Thanksgiving day with another person in the same boat. Try these dorm friendly thanksgiving foods. An alternative to this is to crash Thanksgiving at a friends house who lives locally. 

2. Volunteer in your community

As it is the season of giving, what better time to help those who are in need all days of the year. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, churches, and soup kitchens nearby. Although you are not home, you can connect with those in your new home.

3. Binge watch TV/Movies

Most students don’t have the time to watch television during the regular school week. Now you have a free moment to watch the new series Stranger Things or get a head start on Christmas movies, and watch Elf.

4. Go Exploring

Visit the museum in the city or hike the nearest mountain. You can discover something new for yourself at a time that might be quieter. You never know what beautiful sights you will see or what you'll learn. 

5. Engage in Thanksgiving/Christmas Activities

Research to see what is happening to honor the upcoming holidays. Look for a thanksgiving day parade, skating rinks, or Christmas tree lightings that are happening during a break. See which friends are around to get into the holiday spirit.

6. Do something for yourself

Whether you buy something on Black Friday, do yoga, read your favorite book, get ahead on homework, start a new Pinterest board, bake cookies, learn a new skill, or jam out to some holiday tunes, make sure to use this time to recoup.

7. Check in with your Family & Friends

Although you might be miles away, send your love to your family and friends. Send a card to your grandma thanking her for all her support, send a text to your friend back at home, or facetime your mom after dinner to see the rest of the family at the table. They probably miss you just as much as you miss them -- and that mac & cheese.

Are you staying in your college town for Thanksgiving? You aren’t the only one, so don’t spend it all alone. Tell us which holiday activity sounds like the most fun to you in the comments below!

Elon Graves is an 18-year-old with eager plans to change the world. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University with a major in journalism focus in PR and minor in Spanish. Elon has worked for Pretty Girls Sweat as both a Teen Diaries Writer and Social Media/Editorial Intern. Along with writing, Elon takes up a passion for the arts through dance. She is also a member of Next Generation Service Corps, a rigorous program that develops students to be leaders in all sectors of business. The artistic writer and dancer has plans to use her platform to bring more opportunities to young people in the future.