“Home away from home.” “Make your friends your family.”
Phrases like these sound clichÃ©, but for some FAMU students phrases like these are the only things that help them make it through the holiday season.
For many, this isn’t the first Thanksgiving spent in tiny apartments and dorm rooms.
Friends have become family and apartments have become homes.
Spending time with friends during Thanksgiving isn’t out of the ordinary for students from Washington and California, Texas and Michigan.
No matter how far or how close home is, the trip doesn’t always make sense monetarily.
For others, the time spent driving home or taking a long bus ride takes most of the fun out of the four-day vacation.
And for others still, the idea of traveling home for a short time only weeks before the ultimate vacation, Christmas break, just doesn’t make much sense.
For some of the students that do stay for the Thanksgiving break, having dinner with friends is a welcome alternative.
It gives many the opportunity to become closer with college roommates and some the chance to try out mom’s famous macaroni and cheese recipe.
For juniors and seniors that aren’t going home for Thanksgiving, making a home away from home is an old shoe.
“I’ve perfected how to fry a turkey, and my roommate makes potato salad better than my Mom,” said Karen Ford, 21, a fourth year engineering student from Seattle.
“We’ve really turned our apartment into the place to be for Thanksgiving…for some of my friends, it’s the only place that they can be.”
Some students really do miss the comforts of home, especially freshman. For some, this will be their first time away from family during the holidays.
Marcus Finley, 19, a sophomore math education student from Dallas, recommends spending time with family that lives closer to FAMU even if you aren’t that close to them.
“I have an aunt in Atlanta that I always spend Thanksgiving with.”
“We weren’t even close before I came to FAMU, but now she’s my favorite aunt,” said Finley.
“There is nothing like spending time with family during the holidays, I’m glad I had the opportunity to connect with family I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
For students that have become accustomed to staying here, friends serve as brothers and sisters.
The lines between family and friends are blurred.
“I feel sad, but I am happy that I have created a home here, too,” said Brian Bowman, 19, a junior industrial psychology student from Oakland.
“I have friends here that I consider my family.”
Bowman plans on spending his Thanksgiving at his friend’s house.
Whether spending time with friends or family, here or there, the holidays are what you make them.
While some feel as though the holidays are meant to be spent with family, others feel as though friends are family.
“It bothers me that I cannot be home with my family,” said Gregory Webb, 19, a second year business administration student from Moreno Valley, Calif.,”but there are worst things in life.
“Spending time with my friends is more than worthwhile.”