Ah, Thanksgiving. The great American tradition that began in 1637, as pilgrims celebrated the murder of 700 Natives, and has now evolved into a Pinterest-recipe, burnt orange colored, festive twine-based, pumpkin fetishized, gorge-fest. But, for first year college students across the country, Thanksgiving mostly means the first time visiting home in three months. Being away from home for the first time makes you realize how much you took for granted. There are obvious things, like home cooked meals, good wifi, or hugs from your parents, but I urge you to dig deeper. This Thanksgiving, make the most of the teeny tiny things you once took for granted.
- Use a really sharp knife: Yes, there are knives in Peirce, but they aren’t sharp. Cutting an apple is a challenge, and chopping protein for a salad is a chore. When you get home, grab a sharp knife, be it paring, butcher, or otherwise, watch that baby glide through a piece of produce, and then let the chills run down your spine.
- DVR something: Although many of us are fortunate enough to have online streaming services at our finger tips, when’s the last time you hit the rubberized “record” button on a remote? Remember? You were so excited to watch that episode of MTV’s Finding Carter the day after it aired. You couldn’t that night because you were up late memorizing trig identities. Precalc was harder than you’d expected. Experience that thrill for the first time in forever.
- Cry in a place you haven’t cried in for a while: I get it. You got home and realized how much you missed the Amish presence in Gambier. There are so many less fresh jams and hand-knit goods in your neighborhood than you remembered. So you cry. Not only is it hard to find a secluded place to daytime-cry in college, but if you find one, odds are you won’t have an emotional connection to it, and god damn it you want to feel everything. Upon arriving home, find that place you used to cry in all the time (you know the one) and let it all out surrounded by years of remembered sadness.
- Do free, irresponsible laundry: Ladies, and gentlemen, leave your K-Cards and quarters in your suitcases because for 10 days, laundry is free. Take advantage of this sweet deal and do your laundry one piece at a time. Favorite jeans? Table for one please. You will have wasted a disgusting amount of water but it’s worth it because it technically won’t effect you personally.
- Get intimate with your shower floor: No shower shoes this time. Your presumably fungus-free bath or shower will be there to welcome you home. Caress it, taste it, and stand on it. Say goodbye to methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, your favorite bathing related college health risk, and say hello to barefoot bliss.
- Hold a dog: Yeah, dogs pop up at Kenyon every so often. Maybe you’ll spot a West Highland White Terrier with brown tear stains leaking down its face, arrogantly trotting down middle path, and stop to pat it on the head. But this dog isn’t what you were looking for, and the owner didn’t offer to let you to hold it. Come to think of it, you haven’t held a dog in a long time! Petting dogs in passing isn’t enough to satiate your need to hold an animal close to your chest, hearts thumping as one. At home, grab your dog, or your friend’s dog, and hold it lovingly and tightly. When it bears its teeth, let it go, but until then enjoy the canine connection you’ve been missing.