By Laura Sliker |

Each year, everyone gets excited for the week of no class at the end of November. So do I. Then they get excited to travel home to their families for a week. Suddenly, I’m not so excited. I’ve written a few times now about being from New York, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned that my family doesn’t have enough money to fly me home on short breaks. Yeah, stuck 1,500 miles from home over Thanksgiving break can be rough. On the upside, I’ve fine-tuned the art of spending Thanksgiving break alone and making it enjoyable. I can’t imagine I’m the only one stuck alone in my dorm this week, so now I’m sharing my routine with you.

1: Order Delivery. LOTS of Delivery.

Trust me, if you break it down in your head you’re just as upset about missing out on Thanksgiving dinner as you are about not seeing your family for another month. You’re eating campus food while they’re eating a roast turkey…oh wait, no you’re not. Because they even close the dining halls over break, that’s how much they don’t think anyone stays. This is why after the first year of struggling by on Ramen noodles, I decided to live it up. Sic ‘Em Delivery is a great thing during break, and they can bring you anything you want. Some favorites of mine over the years include Alpha Omega, Clay Pot and Saltgrass Steakhouse if you’re feeling really fancy.

2: Call Everyone, Not Just Family

It seriously helps to hear people’s voices during this week. Definitely find a time to call your family, maybe even on Thanksgiving day when you can talk to a bunch of relatives at once. But also ask your friends who went home to call you; trust me, they’ll have enough time. Talking to people you’re used to being around will help you not miss them nearly as much. Besides, you might get to hear some so-embarrassing-they’re-funny family stories from their Thanksgiving gatherings.

3: SLEEP

I am not kidding. Last year, I still didn’t go home for Thanksgiving, but I went home with a friend. This meant that I was doing whatever their family did over the holiday, and it was then that I realized one of the biggest perks of being in your residence hall over Thanksgiving: you can catch up on so much rest that you don’t get when you’re participating in family festivities. You have no idea how much more rested I am for finals when I just stay here in Waco.

4: Draw, Write, Do Whatever it is You Wish You Could Do

All of us have something that we sit and think ‘if I wasn’t doing homework, I would have time to do this again like I used to.’ Thanksgiving break is the perfect time to do whatever it is, especially if you’re alone and don’t have a bunch of social activities planned. I’ve used past breaks to read novels I hadn’t had time for, take up watercolor painting again, and even to sing knowing nobody else could hear me through the thin walls.

Use this break to enjoy yourself, not to miss your childhood holiday traditions. Rest, let things go and eat just as much as everyone back home is. Tell your parents that you miss them, you love them, but you’re doing just fine.