It’s that time of year again — leaves are beginning to fall off the once vibrant trees, the air is getting slightly chillier and an abundance of individuals are forgetting about Thanksgiving and bulldozing straight towards a yearning for the winter holidays to approach.
The November day is typically a rather underrated holiday to begin with; how could it not be when it’s competing with peppermint flavored everything, joyful music and prospects of gifts upon gifts? But, this behavior is only further encouraged by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, seeing as our campus only grants students Thanksgiving day and the Friday following it off from class. This leads many students, myself included, to debate whether or not they should even bother heading home for the long weekend.
With the extremely short amount of time off, it’s worth noting the cons that will come from heading home this upcoming break. For starters, counting travel time, the four day break for some will realistically be shortened even more. In-state students have a notable advantage as far as travel goes, since time spent on the road will likely be less than that of a student who lives across the country.
The long hours of travel time might not be the only concern for students. Being a college student and having a sufficient amount of funds don’t typically go hand in hand, and any form of transportation home will be pricey, especially during the holiday season.
Not to mention, homesickness is a real ordeal many students face, but it could be worsened by heading home only for a short while, rather than for an extended stay. Now, a few months into the school year, everyone on campus is finally settling in; by traveling back home, some might face a harder transition upon the return to Madison. For some students, it just simply might not be enough time, and could instead do the opposite of what a trip home is intended to do: provide a familiar sense of comfort.
That being said, it would be ignorant to ignore the countless benefits of choosing to go home for Thanksgiving break. An immediate plus would be the opportunity to interact with friends and family. After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about: being surrounded by those who you love, reflecting on all you’re thankful for and – of course – eating as much mashed potatoes, turkey and all things pumpkin flavored you possibly can.
Besides seeing those you love, there’s a familiar comfort many will feel in going back to their hometown. It can be in the little things, too. Driving the same streets you haven’t in months, stopping for coffee at the place you and your friends always used to frequent in high school — even just sleeping in your own bed. Each of those activities can provide a sense of familiarity you might not currently have in college.
And with finals fast approaching as well, giving yourself a much needed break from studying, exams and assignments could very well be exactly what you need to conquer the difficult weeks we all have ahead of us.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to go home this Thanksgiving break, we can all unite in our excitement of a few days off from class and take the time to give ourselves a well deserved break.