Thanksgiving break is one of the best ranked breaks on college campuses worldwide. It breaks up the long, cold November month and means going home to a big, home cooked meal with desserts and hopefully lots of drinks. While the break is amazing, the work leading up to break is far less exciting. If break starting on a Tuesday instead of a Friday isn’t bad enough, professors across campus have decided to assign all projects before break, the library is crowded, and you still have to worry about what you’re going to wear on Thanksgiving. Here is a list of the struggles every college kid goes through before break, and a few tips to make it out mentally stable.
Finishing assignments: “You better work b*tch” seems to be the motto of professors the week of Thanksgiving break. Assignments are tough enough on their own, but there seems to be this weird calling for professors that encourages them to assign term papers and projects all for the day before break begins. From the class you have an assignment in every week, to the class you haven’t done any work in since the midterm, all of your classes will have work due. So the true meltdowns begin as everyone floods the library and tries to finish two weeks worth of work in one weekend.
Pro Tip: In order to avoid the mental breakdown, make lists! It sounds silly, but when you think of all your assignments in your head, it can become overwhelming quickly. By creating a list–online or on paper–of everything you need to do, you can visually see your list, calming your nerves because it’s never truly as long as you think. Plus, there’s no greater satisfaction than being able to cross things off the list as you go, seeing it get smaller and smaller.
Prints: With assignments comes hard copies, and lots of them. The noise from the printers eventually becomes unnoticed as they go all day long. While campus provides us with the convenience of printers practically everywhere, they also provide us the inconvenience of having to pay for our prints. If the assignments were nerve wracking enough, with each print we have to watch our balance get lower and lower.
Pro Tip: In order to avoid the stress of not being able to print, there’s a few ways to rid yourself of the worry at all. My first suggestion, and most honest one, would be to just buy a printer. This tip especially applies to first and second year students. A printer is one of the best college investments you can make. You’ll always need to print, and having your own will inevitably save you time and money. Plus you can find some super cheap one’s that will get the job done. Another option can be found in your professor’s office. Most professors are nice enough to let you print in their office, or the office of the department. As long as you ask nicely and don’t take advantage by printing every assignment you have, they are more than likely to let it slide and help you out.
Emptying the fridge: While Thanksgiving break certainly isn’t as long as the end of the semester break, it does require a cleaning out of the fridge. While your condiments and alcoholic beverages are safe, your fruits, vegetables and other perishable items aren’t. Now begins the race of you and the fridge versus the clock. With such limited time in the day, and most of your time being spent at the library or Starbucks, it’s hard to eat the food you’ve got stocked up at home. But nothing feels worse than taking a ton of food and just dumping it in the garbage. So eventually you hit a point where you either have way too much and won’t be able to finish or way too little and will be UberEats-ing it for the next two days.
Pro Tip: Giant has a ton of pre-made, single meals and it’s just a few miles from campus. Stock up on those in order to avoid waste at the end of the week, and cut down on cooking time in order to get those assignments done! There are also a ton of tips online about how to use that food in your fridge before the time runs out.
Realizing you have way too many clothes and not enough space: It happens to everyone. As you count the days you will be spending at home and coordinating outfits, you look back and see your bed filled with more clothes than you even realized you had. Then you realize it all needs to fit into a suitcase. But fitting six days worth of day clothes, pajamas, and a couple options for Thanksgiving don’t easily pack into just one suitcase. You then sit there deciding what outfits can be sacrificed, and which you just can’t bare to part with for the week. Eventually, you realize you still have way too much and overpacking is just unavoidable.
Pro Tip: In order to save some room in your suitcase, take any clothes that you usually store on hangers and keep them on the hangers. Use a hair tie or rubber band to keep all the hangers together, and hang them on a hook in the backseat of a car or lay them across your suitcase in your trunk. Travelling by plane or train? Stuff them all in a garment bag. This way they remain unwrinkled and fresh, while also giving you room for more jeans and sweatshirts.
Trying to remember everything you need: Clothes packed, shoes packed, contacts packed, but there’s still so much to pack! As you run around your room, you continue to remember more and more things you need. Then as you finish up, zip your suitcase shut and get into bed, you can’t help but fight this feeling that you’re still missing something. You go over the list in your head a couple more times, double check that you actually did pack what you’re thinking of, but the feeling still won’t go away. And you know that once you leave campus, it’ll come to you and it’ll already be too late to turn back.
Pro Tip: Once again, make a list! This way you can write things down as they come to you, and check them off the list as you pack them. Then, you know you thought of it and definitely know you packed it. Still feeling like you’re missing something? Reenact your morning routine. Most of the stuff you pack is stuff to help you get ready, so go through the motions of your morning routine and see what things might have slipped your mind.
Once the stress is over and your last assignment is handed in, remember to enjoy your break and spend it with the one’s you love. Everyone can agree Thanksgiving break is something to be thankful for.