Week 8 rolled around and I was just as ready to go home for Thanksgiving as the next student swamped with p-sets, projects and papers. Throughout all of Week 8, I heard and asked the same question over and over again: “Are you going home for break?”
The usual response was either, “Yeah, I can’t wait!” or “Nah, I live on the East Coast, so it wasn’t worth getting a plane ticket for the short break.”
My answer was the former, as I live a mere 30 minutes away from campus.
I’ve heard differing experiences from my peers who are also local. Some take advantage of the fact that they are so close to home, going back to hang out with their family and high school friends every weekend. Others purposefully avoid going home so that they can get the so-called full college experience of being away for long periods of time; I was closer to the latter. Thus, I was more than stoked to go home for Thanksgiving.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time doing absolutely nothing besides eating and sleeping over the break. When I finally decided to try to get some work done and complained to my mom that I had a 12-page paper to write over break, she offered to drop me off at Green Library while she had a meeting with someone in Palo Alto. That’s when I realized how close I was to school. I declined the offer – no matter how much I love Stanford, for some reason, I didn’t want to be on campus while it was still technically Thanksgiving break.
I know for a fact that some dormmates who stayed on campus had a blast making their own Thanksgiving dinner and going on late-night adventures around campus. Some friends who are local even stayed on campus despite the fact that it would have been a short car ride – or even a bike ride – home. However, for me, a true break meant being physically off campus for a bit, away from the hustle and bustle that Stanford is, no matter how much of a wonderful hustle and bustle it can be. And I know a lot of people felt the same, or wished they could get off campus but simply couldn’t due to how far away their home is.
Thus, no matter how trivial it might be, making the big 30-minute journey home truly did feel like a huge trek. Thanksgiving break was a refreshing time of rest for me. While I joke about living so close to campus – rolling my eyes and saying my parents can come visit me too easily – I consider myself extremely blessed to be able to have my home away from home, only 20 miles away.
Contact Angie Lee at angielee ‘at’ stanford.edu.