How International Students Spend Thanksgiving

Design by Brittany Isdith In about two days, the dorms will suspiciously be weed-odor-free. The hallways will finally experience silence again. And the dining halls, as is their food-licensed birthright, will somehow burn soggy fries for 15 instead of 1500 students. A much-needed break is upon all of us, and I, for one, am looking forward to waking up at a reasonable hour (preferably late afternoon) and watching Gossip Girl… without having to hate myself.

Unfortunately, my exciting Thanksgiving break plans end just about there – blowing through REM cycles without guilt and consuming even more bad pizza. Considering the fact that my home is approximately 13,319 miles away and I’m not a meat-eater, all I really have to give thanks for come Thursday is a slightly lighter homework load and a better place to poop. My roommate, however, has given me the down-low on turning up for Thanksgiving: glazing the turkey, watching the parade, and binging on American football. Family is met and weight is gained.

While I won’t be too far behind on the steady weight gain, my Thanksgiving is bound to be novel, thanks to the fact that I’m an international student. And by international student, I mean one who is not one flight away from home (no, Canadian students, you can't relate). In my opinion, your home needs to be at least one modest-sized ocean away for it to count as international.

Here is my official Thanksgiving to-do list, coming from a real international student.

  • Eat lots of mashed potatoes (minus the turkey): It’s an impromptu “Pardon the Turkey” ceremony for those of us who don’t exactly have a feast on Thanksgiving. Go, be free.
  • Skype for longer hours: Now that schoolwork won’t be a concern, we have more time to devote to our loved ones. In other words, send longer cyber kisses and well-wishes… and, more importantly, whine about your squalid living conditions.
  • Catch the hype about the parade: I can’t wait to see what the floating turkey looks like for about five minutes before I return to my "studies."
  • Rolling my eyes every time I open Snapchat: Er’body gone look like a Friday night at their family get-togethers while I look like a total Monday morning for the entire week.
  • Black Friday: Ah, something I can work with. Wallets, prepare for exhaustion. Currencies, prepare for conversions. Weight, prepare to be lost (temporarily).
  • Cyber Monday: RIP my Macbook.
  • Catch up on work because a certain international student has no idea how to work this educational system: I actually might just have the saddest life ever.
  • Wait for Christmas: Hell yes. This horse (or slightly overgrown filly) cannot wait to return to its stomping grounds during Christmas break. To all those asking why I’m not going to India for Thanksgiving Break… girl, those plane tickets cost more money than you could stuff in your thanksgiving turkey.

As you can see, my Thanksgiving is quite obviously going to be lit. I just hope Black Friday gifts me a new pair of boots and Cyber Monday brings me a brand new iPad. I am pretty confident that the only form of mashed potatoes I’ll be having this Thanksgiving are from Ernie Davis dining hall. Sigh.

Real TalkDivya MurthyComment