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What to do if you can’t go home for Thanksgiving

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Chicago chapter.

Thanksgiving break is coming up fast, and for some of us, going home is not an option. Not being able to see your family and eat nice food is quite sad, and it gets lonely. So, I have a short list of the things that you can do on Thanksgiving that will keep your mind busy and hopefully replace your holiday blues.


The holidays are a great time to volunteer, especially when you can’t make it home to your family. Check out a couple of places like soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and food pantries to see how you can help serve food to people in need. Not only will you be with a bunch of other people, but you will also be helping your community. This will be a good way to start volunteering more often when you find somewhere you like.

2. Get a group of friends together

Find a bunch of other friends and people that also can’t make it home for Thanksgiving. Everyone can bring their favorite dish for a full feast that everyone will enjoy. This is also a good time to make new friends and enjoy the company of others that are in the same situation.

3. Order from Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel has a Thanksgiving meal ready for those who can’t make it home. If your friends don’t feel like cooking their own food, you can split this Thanksgiving meal with all of you. This meal feeds ten with two turkeys, cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry relish, three sides of your choice, sweet rolls, and pumpkin and pecan pie. Or you could just eat it all yourself if you are a true Thanksgiving baller.

4. Binge watch Netflix

Queue up your favorite show and start from season one. You get to spend all break by yourself with your favorite show no interruptions and no responsibilities. If you pair this with your Cracker Barrel feast, it makes for the perfect long weekend.

5. Get out of the house

Sometimes it’s sad to be alone during the holidays, especially when it is the most family-oriented holiday. Just going out on a walk can make you a little happier than just sitting at home alone. Sit by the lake, go sightseeing, or find a restaurant that is open. Leaving your bed will relieve some of your sadness and stress.  

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Tory Appel

Columbia Chicago

Hello! My name is Tory Appel and I am a student at Columbia College Chicago studying advertising and photography. I am also working at 101.9 the Mix and 100.3 WSHE as a Promotional Assistant, and I'm loving every minute of it! In my free time I like to take portraits, read, and watch scary movies.