Staying on Campus for Thanksgiving Break? Here are 5 Fun Things to Do

by Joy Netanya Thompson

When you’re away at college, sometimes you can’t go home for the holidays. Maybe work, athletic commitments, or simply the price of a plane ticket is holding you back. If that’s you this year, and you’re wondering what to do on campus for Thanksgiving break, here are five ideas that might just make up for missing your mom’s famous pumpkin pie.

1. Host a Friendsgiving

Find out who else is going to be around and pull together your own feast. Have everyone invite a friend—the more, the merrier! Make your college Friendsgiving as fancy or as scrappy as you’d like. Living in a dorm without a kitchen? Pool your money and order a meal from Whole Foods or another grocery store. Or cook at your place: keep it simple with a turkey, a couple of sides, rolls, and a pie or two. Assign a dish to each guest and let the cozy memories begin!

2. Sign Up for a Turkey Trot

Many towns host early morning running events on Thanksgiving Day. Grab a couple of friends and break a sweat together, then give thanks over seasonal lattes and pumpkin scones to kick off the rest of the long weekend. Bonus: you already got your steps in for the day, so you can indulge later in a holiday movie marathon!

3. Volunteer Your Time

Maybe you’ve been itching to give back to your community, but your course schedule and studying don’t leave room for much else. Staying on campus for Thanksgiving break is the perfect opportunity to volunteer your time. Look into soup kitchens and homeless shelters to see who needs help. Students at Azusa Pacific University and other nearby schools can volunteer at Dinner in the Park in Pasadena, an annual event hosted by Union Station Homeless Services, where this year they expect to serve over 2,000 plates of food to people in need.

4. Binge a (Podcast) Show

What happens when you’ve already binged all your favorite TV shows? Instead of watching all nine seasons of The Office again, try a podcast. If you’re new to podcasts, Reply All or This American Life are good places to start. Looking for something seriously binge-able? Serial (season one) will have you hooked.

5. Plan for the New Year

Order yourself a planner and get organized! Lay out next semester’s schedule, mark any fun events coming up on your calendar, and spend some time thinking up goals for the new year. Are you uber-organized, super crafty, or both? Try your hand at bullet journaling, a style of planning that allows you to customize a blank journal into a calendar, to-do list, and goal tracker in one. There are countless tutorials online, so buy some colorful gel pens and go crazy!