The holidays are a special time of the year for many because family and friends are able to eat and create memories together. Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season in America as a day to give thanks and celebrate with food that lasts many families days after Thanksgiving.
For college students, this is a break many look forward to because they’re able to visit their families and eat home-cooked meals for the first time since the start of the fall semester. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for every college student depending on their circumstances.
Florida State University sociology student Stacey Beauplan says work and her best friend are the two reasons she will be staying in Tallahassee for Thanksgiving instead of going back home.
“The main reason I decided to stay in Tallahassee was because I thought my job was going to have me work the whole week of Thanksgiving, but I’ll get Thanksgiving Day off,” Beauplan, a senior, said. “It would make no sense to drive six hours and come back the next day.”
The Broward County native says she hasn’t been home since returning to FSU in August. Beauplan’s favorite part of Thanksgiving is spending time with family because “you never know when you’re going to see them again or if they’re going to be able to see you again,” she said.
“This Thanksgiving, I’ll be having a ‘Friendsgiving’ with my best friend since she’ll be staying here so I decided to stay with her to keep her company,” Beauplan said.
While work is the reason some college students can’t go home for the holidays, insufficient finances to travel a long distance to their hometown can be another reason. Quinyce Foreman is a junior at Florida A&M University who hasn’t seen her family since April.
“I’m staying in Tallahassee for Thanksgiving because I can’t afford to travel home to Oklahoma for the holiday,” Foreman said. “All of my closest friends are from various cities in or near Florida, so they are all going home. But I plan to stop by my co-worker’s home to eat.”
Like Beauplan, Foreman will miss the quality time with family to make memories and eat food that comes with going home for the holidays.
Charles Rhaney is a public relations major at FAMU from Maryland who is content with missing out on spending Thanksgiving with family. He says Christmas is the better holiday out of the two.
“I decided to stay in Tallahassee due to financial issues and timing,” Rhaney said. “The semester ends Dec. 3-10 which is like next week so I might as well wait.”
Beauplan says she’s used to being alone, but that doesn’t mean she likes it.
“For the most part, I’ll be home alone with my dog,” Foreman said. “It makes me extremely sad and lonely because it’s a big holiday for me and I’m so used to being surrounded by my family.”
For students who are staying in Tallahassee for Thanksgiving, here is a list of restaurants that will be open for anyone to get a meal.