By Anthony Vassallo
Thanksgiving is traditionally a holiday to spend time with friends and family, and for college students, it's one of the most sought after breaks of the semester. Many students living on campus are very enthusiastic about going home and getting a breather from their overwhelming college schedules.
For some, it will be about visiting family for the first time in months while for others, the break is about rekindling their relationships with hometown friends.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing my friend Ashley because I haven’t seen her in months,” said Angelina Trongone, an 18-year-old freshman psychology major at Purchase.
Her friend Ashley Suppa is an upcoming pop artist who was on tour for the majority of the semester. Trongone is excited to hear about Suppa’s experience as well as fill her in on what college life has been like. She’s also visiting a lot of family over the weekend; she has Thanksgiving with her dad and cousins, and then she’s going to her grandma’s the following day for her grandmother's birthday.
Although the COVID-19 virus still poses a threat to public health, vaccinated Purchase students are feeling confident about the school’s ability to keep everybody at the college safe. “I’m vaccinated, I can get COVID at any point, anytime, and anywhere,” said Brock Mento, a 21-year-old senior new media major.
Mento’s family lives in Plymouth, Mass., and he doesn’t think visiting will put him at much more of a risk than living on campus. He thinks that there isn’t much of a point in risking our mental health anymore for the sake of the pandemic, especially since the school is nearly fully vaccinated.
“Thanksgiving is a really important holiday because it brings families closer together especially during these hard times,” said Mento. It's one of those holidays that Mento feels like he should be home for, especially since he misses his friends, family, and most of all, his dogs.
As the semester winds down, many students are desperate to catch up on homework and prepare for their final exams, essays, and projects.
“It'll give me a chance to catch up on work, which has been stressing me out the most, so it’ll be good,” said Hayley Brennan, an 18-year-old freshman psychology major.
Brennan plans on visiting her cousin's house on Long Island for a big Thanksgiving dinner, as well as celebrating her sister's birthday the following day. She has some concerns about getting together with extended family but agrees that it’s the right move to go home.
Brennan said, “All of my cousins are in college so they’re all coming from different places.”
This makes her a little bit worried about COVID-19, but when she returns to Purchase, she doesn’t expect there to be a major surge in cases.
“I don’t think there will be any surge at all,” said Raul Perez, a 21-year-old senior journalism major. Perez’s entire family is vaccinated which, makes him comfortable visiting them for the holiday. He finds this break to be important for his mental health, and not only as a student, but as a son and a brother.
“My siblings have been calling every day because they haven’t seen me in a while,” said Perez. “I look forward to studying, spending time with my family, clearing my mind, and entering another mental space, because finals are coming, and you have to be ready for that.”
Without many opportunities to spend time at home, many college students are eager to take a break from class and soak up some home-cooked meals and conversation.
Trongone said, “It’s worth it because we get to see our family, tell them about college, and come back with a fresh mind.”