Thanksgiving Is Lonely For International Students

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Can’t relate

For most Americans, including probably the majority of students at Columbia, Thanksgiving is a holiday to go home, eat as much turkey as can possibly fit in your body, and spend time with your family. Or at least that’s my understanding; I wouldn’t know because I’ve never gone home for Thanksgiving in the past 6 years. My home is a 14-hour flight away, and Thanksgiving break just isn’t long enough for the trip to be worth the time or money. I also think that turkey is objectively the worst poultry and I don’t understand why anyone ever eats it, and that “Thanksgiving food” is such a limited range of dishes (see image above) that I don’t understand how Americans seemingly never get sick of it, but I digress.

Thanksgiving is especially a lonely time for international students like me (and domestic students who also live too far to go home) because you know everyone else is spending time with their family, while you probably won’t see yours until Christmas, if not for longer. Yes, John Jay has a Thanksgiving meal so you can commiserate with other people staying on campus for the break, but it’s just not the same. (I also don’t have a meal plan.)

What also sucks for me personally is that I miss out on all the Korean holidays: the harvest festival (chuseok—it’s like Thanksgiving but better) and lunar new year, especially, and I’m sure many other international students feel my pain. Especially when Columbia Dining calls it Chinese New Year. (Columbia Dining, if you’re reading this, please don’t do that this year. It’s lunar new year. China isn’t the only country that celebrates the lunar new year.) Not to be too depressing, but this sort of thing makes me feel even sadder to see the Thanksgiving festivities, knowing that I miss all my holidays back home.

So domestic students, especially people who live nearby, please invite your international friends over for Thanksgiving if you can! Adopt us! Help us feel less lonely! I assure you we’ll really appreciate it. And to other people staying on campus over Thanksgiving who feel lonely, Bwog sends our solidarity. Turkey isn’t even that great anyway.

Thanksgiving meal via Bwog Archives

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  1. Anonymous

    When I was a student at Columbia , I always invited my friends from California and Hawaii home with me for Thanksgiving. sometimes even Christmas. Please invite your friends home with you if you live nearby. You will have a great time.

  2. Anonymous

    ^^^^^^over fall break my plans fell through, and my friend invited me to her house in Connecticut. It turned out to be a wonderful weekend for both of us, and I can’t wait to invite her to my home.

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