Hello fellow Liberal Arts students! I’m sure you’re all just as excited as I am to go home for the upcoming holiday season. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, students begin wrapping up those last few classes and essays before they can head home for the most anticipated meal of the year. It is not uncommon for students to feel overwhelmed during this upcoming week. For many freshman, Thanksgiving will be their first time leaving the Beaver Nation since CONNECT Week. I myself am an out of state student from California. My Freshman year I resided in Callahan Hall and couldn’t wait to get home to see my family, but when I realized that not only did I have to finish up all my class work, but also print a boarding pass, work my schedule around my shuttle reservation and “close up” my dorm room, I was immediately overwhelmed. Suddenly Thanksgiving was starting to feel like it wasn’t a vacation at all! I’m not telling you this to create anxiety about the holidays, but rather to tell you that it gets better with time. As a sophomore, I’ve been faced with this all before and am here to pass my knowledge on to you, so here are some tips on surviving the Thanksgiving mass exodus from Corvallis.
- Don’t bring schoolwork home with you. I know how busy classes can get at the Beaver Nation, but trust me when I say lugging huge textbooks home and intending to catch up on some reading, is an unreasonable goal. Get as much work as you can done this week before you head home, and then take these three upcoming days to spend time with your family and friends and clear your head, everyone needs a break every once and a while! Relaxation is good for the soul, and it’s a well-known fact that Thanksgiving comes at just the right time in terms of classes and busy schedules at OSU. Catch up on some R & R and come back to campus refreshed!
- Properly “closing up” your room is easier than it seems. If you’re living in the Residence Halls on campus, your RA should provide you with a sign out sheet. All of the items on this list need to be completed before you head home. When I was a freshman, I couldn’t believe that there was a checklist of how to leave each room, and was not pleased that yet another piece of paper was piled onto my To Do list. Don’t worry- it’s simpler than you think. The checklist consists of things like close your window, shut your blinds, turn off all electronics and unplug them (refrigerators have to be unplugged and cleaned out for winter break, but they allow them to be kept on for the short Thanksgiving break). Make sure you set up a time for your RA to check off your room prior to when you plan to leave, meaning don’t run around the residence hall searching for your RA minutes before you’re supposed to be on a shuttle out of town. Plan ahead! For those of you who live off campus, it’s sometimes a bit trickier because there is no checklist handed to you. The main thing to keep in mind is saving energy, and saving money. Don’t leave appliances plugged in over break. They’re using up energy even when they’re not in use! Make sure all of your lights are off, heat is off and that you lock your doors properly on your way out.
- Travel safely! I may just be reiterating what so many of your parents have already told you, but please, travel safely home and back to campus over this holiday weekend. Being an out of state student myself, my travel plans for Thanksgiving include riding the Hut Shuttle (a reliable and relatively inexpensive way to get from the OSU Bookstore on campus to Portland International Airport for those of you who are unfamiliar), flying home to California, and then doing it all in reverse just a few days later. For those of you flying home, get to the airport or anywhere you need to be early! The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest air traffic day of the year, so plan ahead! I may be sounding a bit repetitive, but planning ahead for your own ventures is important. Even for those driving home for the holiday. If you’re driving, budget gas money, don’t leave when it’s already dark outside if you can avoid it, and carpool as often as possible. Having someone else in the car with you always makes the trip easier.
- Boost up that vitamin intake! Now it may seem silly for me to be promoting so much rest and relaxation, while also encouraging everyone to drink a lot of fluids and take an added dose of Vitamin C, but there is a method to my madness. Let’s be honest, Thanksgiving is not a long break from school. Having only two days of classes off makes for a four day break for the majority of us, meaning that our bodies are going to be stressed and exhausted from the process of travelling. As I’m sure many of you have noticed over the years, traveling is exhausting. Carrying your bags through and airport, driving for long periods of time, and then doing it all again just three days later can really take it out of you! So while it is indeed important for you to spend time with your family and rest as much as you can over break, I’m aware that for some people, spending time with family is anything but relaxing. To combat travel exhaustion, I suggest lots of water over the holiday season, and for those traveling on airplanes, I’d suggest some Vitamin C, a necessity that all college students should have handy.
I hope my tips aid each of you in your first college holiday, and that you all have a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Break!