Off-Third: What to do when you’re stuck in the US for Thanksgiving

Not going home for the holiday? Here is a list of things to do in the city while you wait for your American friends to come back to campus.


Aaliya Luthra

What to do if you can’t go home for Thanksgiving. (Illustration by Aaliya Luthra)

Aksha Mittapalli, Contributing Writer

Off-Third is WSN’s satire column.

Alone in the city this Thanksgiving, thousands of miles away from your family? Here’s a great plan of fantastic things you can do to fill your time this lonely holiday season. 

One of the best things about living in the city that never sleeps is that you won’t ever be forced to endure any kind of silence with the constant sirens, the clueless tourists asking for directions and the ever-pleasant honking at pedestrians. Even amid the cacophony of sounds in the city, nothing beats the music of home. The sound of home is available on your phone anyway; just watch a family fighting video — it’ll take you right back to when your parents would bicker endlessly about what they want to eat for dinner, or when your brother would start a screaming match at your mother for not letting him sleep over at his friend’s house. 

And if you’re looking to get out of the city, just make your situationship take you to their home via the LIRR or Metro-North, even though they claim to be from the city. You’re three months into this situation anyway, and as much as you’re pleased that your study sessions have slowly transitioned into dinner and movie dates, he does not seem to be getting any closer to asking you to be his partner. Inviting yourself to his house is the fastest and most effective way to solidify your relationship. 

You’ll get to see his childhood home, meet his mildly racist grandparents and feel spectacularly out of place among his high school friends. He’ll take you to the bleachers where he told his ex-girlfriend that he loved her. The saturated quaintness of the town will make you all the more grateful for your own home.

His grandfather will ask you if you know his Indian cardiologist, and you’ll stifle in shock as his uncle goes on and on about how great Trump’s immigration policies are. He will have no choice but to introduce you as his girlfriend. And if you’re lucky, perhaps you’ll even get a taste of the strange delicacy that is cranberry sauce. 

Go ahead and make a list of all the people that ask you what Thanksgiving is like in your country. We absolutely love answering questions about our country! This reminds us of how ignorant Americans are of their own history and acts as a great ego boost. Allow this list to be a constant reminder that even if you are alone this holiday season, at least you would not ask such a question. Thank god for small mercies.

And if nothing else works, just fly home. Despite the thousands of dollars it would cost for the flight home, and the toll that the 21-hour trip would take on your circadian rhythm, you could finally be with your family. Spend a crisp 48 hours at home — just enough time to fight over who gets to sit shotgun with your siblings on the way to see your entire family.

We can joke about the pain of being with family and live in the truth that our new home is thousands of miles away. More than anything, though: keep your friends close. The city can be incredibly lonely during the holidays, and being thousands of miles away from home is an isolating experience, exacerbated by the absence of your college friends. It’s OK to remind them that although their experiences with their family are valid, not everyone has the luxury of going home via car or train, or even a short plane ride. Urge them to spend time with their families this Thanksgiving, even if it is just to argue — we owe our families our time, especially during the holidays. Even during a holiday they don’t celebrate.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Aksha Mittapalli at [email protected].