Thanksgiving break was a very pleasant time. It was the perfect break I needed right before the finals. In addition to that, it is also my favorite holiday because people get together, cook delicious food and catch up with family and friends.
Last year I celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time in NYC with my host family and their friends. I loved it. For the very first time I witnessed a beautiful big family gathering in US and since then it has been dear to me. I was planning to join my host family in New York for this Thanksgiving too, but I decided in the last minute to visit them during my winter break and get some rest during this break instead.
This year was the only year I did not celebrate Thanksgiving with a family. Instead, I enjoyed it with my friends on campus. My friends and I came together to roast some chicken, make mashed potatoes and fry green vegetables for our Thanksgiving dinner. We then watched a nice family movie in the dorm lounge. It was fun time and I learned how to cook food in the oven.
The following day, Professor Tavakoli from the Chemical Engineering Department and International Students Association planned a lunch at the China Grill for students who could not join their family and had to stay on campus during the break. It’s not quite proper Thanksgiving food, but with all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, there is little to complain about! In any case, I found this very thoughtful of Prof. Tavakoli to have come up with the idea as many foreign students do feel left out during holidays and breaks when they can’t quite make it to their family due to travel restrictions.
During the break, American students go back to their homes while international students do some travel – which is what I usually do – or simply stay on campus. Some international students who stay on campus get invited for Thanksgiving dinner to the host families they were given through the Partnership Program by ISA. And sometimes professors and other acquaintances invite students to their homes. This year my friend Rebekah, who is from Madagascar, was invited to her professor’s house and there were many different family friends, alumni and other students who took the Tech Clinic course(an interdisciplinary course that has students from different academic departments together and are given real-life problems to solve). Rebekah loved interacting with them and enjoyed the dinner. I found this to be a very nice and kind gesture. And this might be unique to small schools like Lafayette. Since Lafayette is a small school, usually students and faculty have good relationships with each other and will invite each other to programs and events.