As Brandeisians, many of us live close enough to campus to allow us to go home during the Thanksgiving holidays. However, some students, especially international students, are unable to do so because of the long distance from campus to their home. Fortunately, students like Yuki Zheng ’19 can still have the Thanksgiving-break spirit in them despite staying on campus and not being able to see their families.
Zheng is from Shanghai. Therefore, going back home theoretically for a Thanksgiving break is nearly impossible to do because of time constraints. However, in spite of these limitations, Zheng was still able to have an excellent time during her break.
During part of the break, Zheng said that she “stayed on campus and went to a couple of restaurants with her friends.” So while she didn’t physically get to see family during the Thanksgiving break, Zheng was still able to socialize and have an excellent time with her peers. For all the stress that Brandeis students have, sometimes the ability to stay on campus and relax is the best type of break that a college student can ask for.
International students like Zheng may also see benefits that are unique to staying on campus during Thanksgiving over heading home. Zheng commented, “Actually I am happy that I am on campus because some friends from other cities will look for me and we will gather together.”
It is important to note that many international students have classmates who are also studying in the United States. Some students like Zheng who opt to stay on campus want their friends from other colleges to have the opportunity to come and visit them. Many of Zheng’s classmates have never visited Boston and welcomed the trip.
While in her native China, Zheng had learned a couple of details about the holiday of Thanksgiving in school from her American teachers. This came in the form of being told about the family reunion aspect and the main dinner course of turkey.
According to Zheng though, “Many international students are not on campus. They are going to New York or other places to have fun. I think that they are happy.”
Zheng contends that there are certain drawbacks to staying on campus over breaks such as Thanksgiving, especially when it comes to the dining halls.
To celebrate Thanksgiving, Zheng went to a Thanksgiving dinner. Specifically, she remarked how she “ate turkey, isn’t that special.” While it was not in a home, Zheng went to the restaurant Boston Chops and had a festive meal with one of her closest friends.
Of course, as Thanksgiving is a bit of a self-reflective holiday, Zheng mentioned that she is most thankful for her “healthy family and her healthy and good life.”