Thanksgiving is a time to visit family, eat delicious food and focus on cultivating an attitude of gratitude. But no matter how well we plan ahead, things can get in the way of going home—and we end up doing nothing at all. Even though hanging in your apartment for hours on end can be fun, your break doesn’t have to go to waste. There are plenty of ways to make your stay at school meaningful (and memorable) this holiday season. Take a little inspiration from these five ideas:
1. Host a Friendsgiving
You aren’t the only person staying behind for this Thanksgiving! In fact, some students may not celebrate Thanksgiving at all. Offer to host a Friendsgiving and plan a night to celebrate the people you care about. Designate someone to cook the main course and suggest each attendee throw in some money to contribute. Then, everyone should bring their favorite side dish to share. You can enjoy a delicious meal and share stories about your family’s traditions. A little planning ahead will be helpful to ensure you don’t end up with three bags of chips and no mashed potatoes!
Don’t have the tools, time, or skills to cook? Don’t worry; local grocery stores and some restaurants can help prepare dishes for a holiday. Also, as the event host, you’ll be able to share the excellent amenities of your EPOCH property.
2. Participate in a Turkey Trot
Before indulging in your holiday meal, consider participating in a Turkey Trot nearby. Greenville and Anderson have races (a 5K or 1 mile “fun run” option) that you can run or walk on Thanksgiving morning. Break a sweat and forget the rest: many people wear costumes, and the camaraderie at running events is infectious.
Not into actively participating? They are always looking for volunteers before, during and after races. You may love the event so much that it becomes a new Thanksgiving tradition.
3. Volunteer Your Time
A full class schedule might keep you from giving back to your community during the semester, so try to be generous with the extra time you have over break. Find a local soup kitchen or church that serves Thanksgiving meals to those in need (check out Clemson Community Cares to see what opportunities they have). You could also take a shift with Meals on Wheels to deliver food to people who cannot get out of their homes. Serving your community will help you feel grateful for all you have and help maintain perspective.
4. Watch Football (or Your Favorite Show)
If you’re a football fan, you’re in luck: both NFL and college games will be on Thursday and Friday for most of the day. Then, gear up for the big rivalry game on Saturday! Clemson hosts The University of South Carolina at home this year to round out their winning season. As you probably know, football is a big deal around here, and the Clemson vs. Carolina game is about as exciting as it gets!
And if football isn’t your thing, that’s totally okay (there’s still plenty to watch). Tune in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, binge-watch a new show, or mindlessly catch reruns of an old favorite. No matter what you choose, kick your feet up and enjoy some serious couch time.
5. Relax and Reflect
If you have little to do over Thanksgiving break, that’s not always a bad thing! Even if you’ve filled your time off with plans, take some time to stop and be thankful for all you have. Since warm temperatures continue through autumn here in the South, you should be able to spend some time outdoors. Take a stroll around campus, taking in the beauty of the fall colors and the overall peacefulness. Enjoy the quiet with a good book and your last pumpkin spice latte of the season. Reflect on your semester and relax before studying for exams in just a few weeks—you’ve got this!
Enjoy Thanksgiving on Campus
Whether your work schedule, athletics, or the price of travel keeps you from making the trip home, your break can still be memorable. No matter how you do it, remember that you don’t have to spend these days alone! Make a plan, grab your phone, text your friends, and fill your break calendar with fun.