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Alternative Thanksgiving Plans for College Students

5 Enjoyable Options if You Can't -- Or Don't Want to -- Go Home

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Many college campuses look like deserted ghost towns around Thanksgiving. The vast majority of students usually head home for some good food, R & R, and family time. But for those students who can't -- or don't want to -- go home, there are still some great options for how to have a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday.

  1. Volunteer. No matter where you live, there are undoubtedly places nearby that could use volunteers on Thanksgiving Day. Check out women's shelters, homeless shelters, places that serve veterans, hospitals, and even local foster homes. Giving back can make you feel great while providing you with some great companionship -- and grub, of course!

  2. Go home with a friend. If you live too far away to head home, try heading home with a friend or roommate. You can see an entirely new part of that person's life, have fun, and still get that fantastic feeling that comes from being "home."

  3. Organize something on campus. Chances are, you aren't the only student on your campus not planning on heading home for Thanksgiving. Organize an event that includes a nice dinner, volunteering, or even a movie-watching marathon. It can be a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy yourself while still feeling relaxed and like you're on vacation.

  4. Offer to housesit for friends or others. Know someone -- a friend, a faculty member, an administrator -- who is going to have an empty house? Offer to housesit over Thanksgiving. You can enjoy the comforts of being out of the residence hall without having to deal with the inevitable drama that comes from having family running around. Additionally, you can always cook a nice Thanksgiving dinner in a great kitchen and have a few friends over for a nice, relaxing meal.

  5. Take the day for yourself. There are some of us out there who enjoy being alone from time to time -- which is nearly impossible as a college student. Spend the day sleeping in, catching up on homework, watching movies, and doing whatever it is you wish you had time for when your schedule is crazier. Just make sure to treat yourself to some slow-cooked turkey and cranberry sauce in there somewhere!

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