Thanksgiving break has been much needed in my life. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be away from school for a bit to be home for this wonderful holiday.
Greetings from Texas! To say that I’m feeling content with my circumstances would be a huge understatement. I’m in love with the energy I’ve been surrounded with this week. I wouldn’t trade this experience with anything in the world. Being back here feels like a vacation getaway compared to being at Oberlin. That doesn’t mean that I’m sick of the school or anything. I was just homesick. I missed being around my loved ones back home. I missed the little things. Every single hug, kiss, and handshake feels a million times more significant whenever I return home, because I haven’t been home with these people in months. There are so many elements from home that Oberlin just doesn’t have. That doesn’t make the school bad or anything like that. Oberlin is a phenomenal institution, and I am proud to be one of its students. However, the vibe there just isn’t the same. I still have a lot of love for Oberlin College, but I needed a break from the place for a little bit.
Fall break was nice and all, but it doesn’t feel the same as an actual holiday break. (Plus, I actually got to go home this time around! I had to stay in Obieland for fall break.)
Thanksgiving is easily one of my favorite holidays of the year, so it’s especially important for me to cherish the time off with my family. Since football season was still going on, I couldn’t go home during fall break. Sure, being away from schoolwork is always great, but I still wasn’t home. This time around, I was away from schoolwork and I got to return home. (Side note: Finish all your work before you go on breaks. Thank me later!) I hadn’t been in Texas since the beginning of August. The homesickness became greater and greater. Oberlin is a wonderful place and I’m thankful for my decision to go there, but it’s not the place I grew up in. I know that many of my fellow classmates would agree with me on that.
Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday season, and the holiday season doesn’t feel the same without family to me. I believe that’s why I’m enjoying this break so much more than any other break we’ve had this semester.
The element of family is so important, and I want to place a huge emphasis on that. It is always nice to be surrounded by loved ones. Your family doesn’t have to be related by blood, either. Your family can include your friends and significant others as well. Family isn’t defined by blood at all. In fact, there may be people in your life who you’re closer to than your own family members. Those people can easily be considered as family. Some friendships are even more powerful than the bonds you have with some of your own family members. In fact, I have many of these bonds in Obieland. However, I also have these bonds back in Texas (and Georgia, where I originally grew up). I have love for many of my fellow Obies, but the feeling around them isn’t quite the same as the feeling around family members and friends I grew up with.
I definitely appreciate the nice weather back home as well. The Oberlin snow is a very beautiful sight, but it does get tiring after a while.
Along with enjoying family, I get to enjoy the mild weather down here in Texas. The freezing Ohio temperatures along with constant precipitation have been pretty awful as of late. It snowed a few times, but it hasn’t been consistently cold enough for it to be just snow. There have been many cold and rainy days in Oberlin this month, and that isn’t really my favorite environment to be in. This usually happens when winter comes around, but I’m never a fan of it. I know the weather is only going to get colder there, but I’m prepared for it. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the consistent sixty degree days down South.
Don’t even get me STARTED on the Thanksgiving food. There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal, especially when that meal is a Thanksgiving meal.
Of course, one of the most essential parts of Thanksgiving is the food. It’s the one day out of the entire year dedicated to stuffing your face with all types of delicious dishes until you pass out on the couch for hours. It’s simply part of the tradition. This year, I helped out quite a bit around the kitchen. I also cooked the chicken, which was absolutely delicious. My mother and sister cooked everything else, and the meal was fantastic. The family had turkey, macaroni and cheese, greens, broccoli casserole, stuffing, and so much more. I barely had any room for dessert! It’s such a blessing to be able to have such a remarkable home-cooked meal, because I’ve been eating at the same few restaurants and dining halls for the past four months. The repetition gets tiring after a while. Sometimes, you just need something homemade for the soul. The food definitely played a role in my homesickness as well. There’s nothing in the world like your mother’s cooking. Unless she’s not a good cook... I apologize if she isn’t...
After the break, there are four more weeks of school before the end of the semester.
When I return to Oberlin, it’s time to get back to work. That’s the mindset. I want to finish the semester on a high note, and this break allowed me to rest for a while before I get back on my feet. The end of the semester is always a challenging time for students, because that’s when finals season approaches. Final exams and papers are usually major stressors, especially in Oberlin. I have experienced four finals seasons, and each and every one of them have been extremely tiring. I still made it through, but it’s difficult. It’s even harder when you’re a perfectionist like myself and many other Obies. There’s still a lot of work to be done in 2018, and I’m excited to face the challenges that are ahead of me. Until then, I’m going to enjoy these leftovers. Get all the rest you need, because it’s much deserved. Resting is just as important as grinding, after all. Your body can’t function without proper rest. So, eat good, enjoy the family, and relax. Then, when it’s time to work, you will be ready. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the break.
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September 16, 2021