No flight to book. No bags to pack. No trying to decide which friends to visit. As students prepare to make their trip back home for Thanksgiving, many students are forced to stay put. They are hustling to find a place to call home for Turkey Day, while some of their peers hustle to turn in those final papers and beg their professors for some extra credit.
Arneisha Copeland, a sophomore majoring in fashion merchandising at Howard University, plans to stay in her dormitory, Meridian Hill Hall, for the holiday. She feels it is pointless to go home. “My mom didn’t cook last year,” Copeland said bluntly.
“I rather be helping with a mission than going home,” said the Ohioan, she also didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg for a plane ticket. “I’m here for a reason. It’s no point in for me to keep going back and forth. “
Other students were a little more disappointed about not going home, such as Marcellus Hamilton, a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Atlanta. With his professors having class on Wednesday, he would have to fly home the day before Thanksgiving, which is too expensive.
“My mom and dad are really sad that I can’t make it home,” Hamilton said in a somber tone. With my sister also away at college, there will be a lot of empty spaces at the dinner table.” The Christian rapper’s face brightened up as he shared his plans to spend Thanksgiving with his chapel assistant family.
For students living even farther away, the trip back home can be impractical. “I’m not balling out of control so that will not be me,” said Lashawn Moore, a political science major from Sacramento, Calif.
With only a few weeks’ gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas break, it is just too much of a hassle to come up with the money and to plan the trip, Moore said.
Students stuck in the District have a number of alternatives to avoid being alone (or without a plate) for Thanksgiving:
- Sodexo, the Office of Student Activities, the Office of Residence Life and Friends of the Chapel are sponsoring a Thanksgiving Dinner from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday in the Bethune Annex Residence Dining Hall.
- Members of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, which many Howard students attend, are opening up their homes to students without a place to go.
- Some students have the opportunity to spend the holiday with friend.
“There is always a friend kind enough to let you tag along for the holiday,” says freshman Earl Noorfleet.