Spend Thanksgiving on campus: A guide

| Senior Scene Editor

While many students are counting the days until they head home, it is important to remember that not everyone on campus will be traveling home this Thanksgiving. Many students choose to save their money given the shortness of the break, where it doesn’t make sense for some students to make the trek home for just a few days. This means more people will be on campus next week than you might think. However, Dining Services will nearly shut down.

That said, if you’re here for Thanksgiving weekend, be sure you make it to the free Thanksgiving dinner in College Hall. Even if you don’t have anyone to accompany you, you can use the opportunity to meet new people and spend the time getting to know them while stuffing yourself. What better way to bond with someone than by gorging on mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie together? A number of residential colleges are also hosting informal gatherings, so make sure to check in with your residential college director and faculty fellow.

However, make sure to stock up on food for the other days of break because you can’t rely on Bear’s Den or any other on-campus eatery for food. But without the stress of classes, that makes Thanksgiving break the perfect time to explore local eateries.

And given the cold weather, we here at Scene would particularly suggest that you sample the wondrous delivery options around campus. Try Bobo Noodlehouse for a variety of noodle dishes including honey ginger duck and cashew chicken, House of Wong for Chinese and Pointer’s for classic pizza. All three will keep you well fed and frostbite free.

If you’re feeling ambitious, try replicating the “Gilmore Girls” practice of ordering from everywhere and doing a comparative taste test. Extra points if you emulate their three-point scoring system for taste, speed of delivery and attractiveness of delivery person.

And what better thing to pair a mountain of takeout with than a TV marathon? My personal suggestion is to watch every episode of “Friends” that takes place at Thanksgiving. I do it every year when I’m home because there is an appalling paucity of Thanksgiving-related viewing material—though this does provide an excuse to pull out Christmas movies early if you are so inclined.

But there is an inordinate amount of free time that comes with a break, one that even Netflix can’t fill. And that begs the question of what to do. As Wash. U. students, we all promise ourselves that we’ll do extra reading or catch up on the lectures we missed, but I think that hardly constitutes a break. Give yourselves actual free time, and take the chance to get better acquainted with the city of St. Louis.

If you’re still looking to be productive, though, try catching up on all the chores you put off during the course of the semester. Organize your room and do your laundry without the threat of all your building’s washing machines being occupied. It’s time to actually vacuum and not just clear off your desk. While not thrilling, you can listen to music or watch TV while you do it, and it will take a significant burden off of you during finals week.

Another option is to take advantage of all the free attractions in St. Louis. Head over to Forest Park and make a day of it with a picnic lunch (if it’s not too cold). There’s an art museum, a science museum, a zoo and botanical gardens that are all free of charge. None of us has time to gallivant through Forest Park on a normal week, so take this chance to enjoy our local treasures.

Another option is to get active. The ice rink in Forest Park opened last Friday, Nov. 14. Grab a friend or two and enjoy the beautiful scenery before it gets any colder. Or on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, try running in the local Turkey Trot so you can indulge a bit extra later in the day.

But if you share my disposition and prefer to abstain from physical activity in general, my final suggestion is the Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s the 30th anniversary of St. Louis’ parade, so there will be extra pomp and circumstance to round out your morning. And you won’t even have to disturb your general break-induced sloth.

Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter where you’ll be spending Thanksgiving. It’s most important that you take the few days we have off to relax and rejuvenate before finals, whether that’s in St. Louis with friends or home with your family.

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