Celebrating Thanksgiving alone

A set of blocks sit on a student's bookshelf counting down to Thanksgiving. The rest of their apartment was adorned with a host of fall themed decor.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in college can be difficult. Some of us are a plane ride away from home, or a drive that takes hours. For this, we may not all be able to see our families this holiday, so here are some other options for things you can do around Boston to celebrate Thanksgiving. 

  1. Volunteer at a local food drive

It is never easy to be alone on the holidays, and those who are at a food pantry or drive are most likely separated from their families as well. Rather than staying in, it can be really rewarding to help those in the community around you. Having the company of others and being surrounded by people, even if it is those you have never met, allows for a connection to be made that wouldn’t be possible if you didn’t at least try. The Greater Boston Food Bank takes volunteers, and all you have to do is sign up online. What’s a better way to get yourself into the giving spirit?

  1. Find a Thanksgiving market to go to

If you go on Facebook and type in “Thanksgiving” for events near Boston, you’ll find countless things to do nearby in celebration of the holiday. There is a Thanksgiving Market in Medford, MA on Sunday, Nov. 24. They’ll have food supplies you’ll need for Thanksgiving dinner, vendors of jewelry, clothes and more to look through. Grab a friend and go celebrate together, as this event is before Thanksgiving so you shouldn’t have to go alone!

  1. Enter a race 

I know how this looks, and normally I would never suggest going for a run to celebrate a holiday. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about eating so much that you feel stuffed like a turkey. However, Thanksgiving is also known for having races and marathons the morning of, so if that’s something you’re into this may be the perfect opportunity for you. Many different parts of Boston and the surrounding area already have these events planned. I found it easiest to be able to find these by searching through Facebook as well. This can be an excuse to leave the house, exercise and to have a huge dinner that night full of carbs after all your running.

  1. Find a football game to attend

Of course there's a Thanksgiving day football game that everybody watches on TV, but did you know that many schools play their rival team that morning as well? This might take some guts to go alone to a game for a high school team you don’t really know, but it can be helpful to simply get outside. To go out, meet new people and experience new things is the best way of getting your mind off being homesick for the holidays.

I know that doing things alone can be intimidating and make you want to just stay home. However, leaving your comfort zone can allow you to really grow and learn about yourself and what you enjoy spending your time doing. I hope that you find the right way for you to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, and that you don’t feel too lonely. Trying new things is how we figure out what we like and we can surprise ourselves, so try not to hold yourself back. At the end of the day, even if you hated how you spent Thanksgiving, at least you tried something new and different and you’ll know it didn’t work out for you. Stay warm this Thanksgiving and enjoy your break, wherever and whoever you are spending it with.

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