As a precursor, I am from Omaha, Nebraska. Hence, one of my biggest concerns coming to Rochester was how I would spend my breaks because I am not in the position to go home for every break we have. Rest assured for anyone in my same position, you will be fine. 🙂 I spent my first Thanksgiving (my first year) with my hallmate in NYC and my second Thanksgiving in Rochester (and had an amazing Friendsgiving). This Thanksgiving, I was invited by my friend (who is a former Rochester student) to spend the day with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.
My family never celebrated Thanksgiving formerly. In fact, we would usually spend the day eating fast food and planning for Black Friday shopping. I have no complaints; in fact, I loved staying up with my mum, drinking hot chocolate, and waiting for stores to open. Coming to college was the first time I really “celebrated” Thanksgiving, and every year, I come to look forward to it more and more. While acknowledging the violent history of Thanksgiving in respect to Native Americans, if there’s anything I’ve learned from Thanksgiving, it’s the significance of friends and family. It’s a time where I really reflect on everyone I love and all the people that have supported me to help me reach my goals. I’ve come to realize it doesn’t matter how successful you are or how much wealth you accumulate if you do not have a strong support system and people you care about. Especially as a child, I aspired to be very wealthy and placed a lot of value on monetary goods. However, I would say now I place much more value on staying in contact with the people I love, talking with my family on the phone, and spending time with my friends.
This does not mean I neglect my academics, but rather I try to set aside time to relax and be with my friends. Even this week, I have an exam next week, a project due next week and a paper due in two weeks (not to mention finals coming up soon) to the point where I contemplated coming down to see my friend. However, I have no regrets because I would rather think back to the memories I’ve made instead of thinking I spent every second of my college years studying.
Here’s a special shoutout to all those that have supported me and empowered me until this point! Emma Dorfman, my lovely friend that invited me to Thanksgiving with her family. Claire Breen, my one and only best friend since the start. Ramaa Venkatesh, the most amazing woman in the world, AKA my mother. Srila PV, my adorable little sister. Hannah Simons and Jordan Mao, my friends at Rochester. Maggie Chen, my first-year roommate. And many more, including Stephen Schneider, Melissa Wen, Caitlin Ascencio, Priya Kukreja, Chris Sun, Annie Burgz, Chloe Williams, and honestly so many more. And also, of course my professors, dining workers, and faculty, including Professor Doughty, Professor Haidu, Professor Mariner, the Fellowship Office (Belinda Redden, Anne Robinson, Juliet Sullivan, and Teresa Long), Marlon and Dawn from Difo and Douglass, and also MANY more.
Thankful for the University of Rochester for all the opportunities it provides, the outstanding academics, and loving community.
Some other aesthetically pleasing Thanksgiving pictures: