Eating, shopping and schoolwork: How to do Thanksgiving Break right

Hannah Rauh | Staff Writer

Just imagine a picturesque Thanksgiving dinner — turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes steaming on the table while everyone is busy catching up with each other and telling stories about their past few months. It’s a great thing to come home for the holidays, and especially Thanksgiving considering the nature of the holiday itself. A whole day dedicated to gratitude and celebration of family, friends and loved ones is a day well spent.

Students at Duquesne should not only be thankful for the blessings in their lives but should also be grateful for the week off of school. While Thanksgiving break might seemingly be a week of mindlessly consuming the assortment of pies and baked goods readily available, students should realize that it is a great opportunity to make some progress on schoolwork before heading back to campus for the last few weeks of the semester.

Thanksgiving break is prime time for catching up on schoolwork, especially because of the close proximity of the break to the many final exams coming up in December. Although many students may have jobs at home and work during break, there is more than enough time to read over notes and prepare to do well on finals. A few students have shared some helpful tips for those who are struggling to find the most effective ways of studying.

“To succeed, group study with people. It doesn’t matter if it’s over FaceTime or in person,” said pharmacy student James Sanchioli. Many students may find it helpful to FaceTime other students in the same classes and just focus on schoolwork for a bit of time each day, even if it’s not for long.

Sanchioli also encourages other students to read and reread their notes, and never be afraid to ask for help when necessary. Although professors will also be enjoying their own Thanksgiving break, most are receptive to students with questions when they take the initiative to reach out and ask for help.

“Find a quiet place to study where you can think, and if it helps you, listen to classical music,” said psychology major Alexa Bruno.
At home, there are definitely plenty of distractions like pets, Netflix or chores but it is essential for students to dedicate a little bit of time to schoolwork each day.

Not only is this break a great time to catch up on studying, but it is also a fantastic opportunity for students to catch up with family members they haven’t seen in a while, perhaps not even seen since they’ve left for school in August. Although younger siblings may be annoying or that one quirky aunt may pester you with questions, it’s important to cherish the time that you get to spend with family members. After all, family is family. Although not many other colleges are on break quite as early as Duquesne, eventually all the friends that you’ve missed from home will be ready to grab coffee if the family does become a little too much.

On a completely different note, students can make the most of their free time over Thanksgiving break by shopping on the infamous Black Friday. This is a great opportunity for students without cars and limited access to malls during the month of December, to get a head start on Christmas shopping for this year. After all, there are about three weeks left in the semester after students return to Duquesne until Christmas break actually begins. Many local students prefer to shop at Ross Park Mall, which has an extensive selection of high-end stores including Vineyard Vines, Lululemon, American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret and Louis Vuitton.

Emma Bogdon, a freshman marketing major, has a very different Black Friday tradition. Instead of shopping, Emma and her family devote their Black Friday to preparing meals for the homeless and needy. Through the group “Amen to Action,” over 1 million meals are prepared and packed for the hungry. This is a unique opportunity that Duquesne students can partake in if they desire to help others in need around the holiday season.

Besides catching up with family, studying and Black Friday shopping, students should make sure to catch up on sleep and take the time to relax at home. It’s easy to get into the holiday spirit at home just relaxing by the fireplace with a good book and a cup of coffee. Duquesne students should remember to work hard and prepare for exams, but also enjoy their Thanksgiving break too.