5 Things to Do Over Thanksgiving Break


Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade 2010
It’s that time of year again, when families are reunited, people gather around to eat turkey and stuffing, watch football, and line up at 3:00 am outside stores for a chance to snag a great deal. AKA Thanksgiving! And it’s also a time when college students get a nice, much needed break before the chaos of exams. However, if you find yourself sitting around at home, bored with nothing to do, here are some ideas to cure that ennui.

1. Help cook Thanksgiving dinner.
If you’re the type of person who usually sits back and lets Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, or whomever is responsible for holiday food in your family do their thing solo, why not jump in and help? They’d probably appreciate the extra set of hands, plus it’s a great way to get caught up with and bond with your family. And you might learn something useful about cooking too!

2. Go Black Friday shopping.
While this pseudo-holiday might seem a little extreme, it’s an experience everyone should have at least once. Even if it’s disastrous, it will make for a good story to tell someday! Plus, it’s all about saving money and getting insane deals, and we all know college students love both of those things. It’s a great way to save on upcoming holiday gifts, and you can even snag something cool for yourself too!

3. Volunteer.
While Thanksgiving is wonderful, and usually filled with more food than you can handle, not everyone is lucky enough to have that same experience. So give back over the holidays, and consider volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen. Most places like those put on Thanksgiving dinners, and it is always one of the busiest times of the year. Or if that’s not your cup of tea, offer to rake leaves for an elderly neighbor, or bring Thanksgiving dinner leftovers to a community member who is bedridden or alone for the holiday. They could use the helping hand, and it would be a wonderful and rewarding experience to help put the holiday in perspective.

4. Study.
Who wants to study on a school-mandated vacation, right? But if you’re behind on your homework, or find yourself struggling with concepts before your big exams, it might be a wise decision to capitalize on the quiet atmosphere away from all the distractions of campus, and hit the books. I’m not saying to do homework and study all Thanksgiving break, of course. But it couldn’t hurt to crack open a book or two when you’re sitting around digesting after all that turkey and mashed potatoes. You’ll be relieved when you’re back at school and find yourself already ahead of the game.

5. Catch up with friends.
Use this opportunity to catch up with your high school friends who, chances are, you don’t get to see too often anymore. Hang out like you used to, and swap stories about college, classes, and experiences. It will be nice to see everyone again, and interesting to hear how they’re doing with whatever the next step for them was, be it school, trade, or military service.