Thanksgiving on Campus

It’s Thanksgiving Day, and the Honors College (thank goodness it’s still open over the break — not every dorm is!), not to mention the campus at large, is quieter than it’s ever been in the almost three months I’ve been here. All my friends have gone home, and I won’t lie and say it’s not a little bit lonely.

To be completely honest, while I knew I’d be staying on campus — the six-hour flight to spend just a few days at home didn’t seem worth the hassle; several of my friends (and their parents) did offer to take me in, but I didn’t want to impose on them — I hadn’t given much thought to the logistics. And since the vast majority of Rutgers students go home for Thanksgiving, no one really talks about what the alternative is like.

Until now. Without further ado, here’s some things to know about spending Thanksgiving weekend on campus.

  • It’s really quiet.

I mentioned this already, but it’s worth repeating. Rutgers is a large and busy school, and that comes with a certain level of ambient noise even in the dead of night. The present tranquility could only be achieved through the absence of most of the student body.

  • Only one bus route is running.

The all-campuses bus replaces the regular routes from Thursday morning to Saturday morning and only comes about once every hour, so I wouldn’t plan on visiting the other campuses unless you absolutely have to. Besides, why would you pass up the opportunity to stay in bed all weekend?

  • The dining halls are closed.

Make sure you have food ahead of time! Stock up at Kilmer’s Market (protip: if you get multiple center-of-plate items, i.e. fruit cups or sandwiches, you can use multiple meal swipes) or another on-campus eatery in the days leading up to the break. Get extra takeout to have in your microfridge. You can also take a walk down George Street and see if anywhere is still open.

  • Actually, most places are closed.

For obvious reasons, there isn’t much to do or really anywhere to go. If you can muster the discipline, it’s a good opportunity to stay in and work on those end-of-semester projects and papers, or even think about starting to study for finals. (Major kudos to anyone who manages this one; I have a midterm this coming Monday that I’m currently trying not to think too hard about.)

  • There’s a chance you’ll make a new friend or two.

Anyone staying on campus for the weekend is someone you already know you have something in common with, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. Better yet, drop a general message in the group chat (if your dorm has one) and ask if anyone who’s around wants to meet up. Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t happen, though; odds are they’re also taking advantage of the opportunity to hole up in their room for a few days.

  • You absolutely can and should enjoy this time to yourself.

Particularly if you’ve been living with a roommate (or multiple roommates), you probably haven’t had a ton of alone time since the semester started. Enjoy having the space all to yourself, and take a self-care day or two. You’ve earned it.