Adapting: Thanksgiving when the holidays get lonely

Despite classes being canceled for the holidays and FIU efforts to have Thanksgiving events on campus, there is no substitute for having family with you. | Heidi Cuevas, PantherNOW

Heidi Cuevas| Assistant Opinion Director 

Whether we only have our immediate family or they’re on the other side of the world, Thanksgiving can quickly become a holiday for one.

Listening to others talk about plans with their extended family can be bittersweet when a majority of us can only see our immediate family or worse, no family at all.

As first generation students we are told to be grateful for the opportunity to pursue higher education but the crippling loneliness during this time of year can easily wear us down.

It’s saddening how a time that should be about giving thanks and being grateful for our opportunities can devastate us at the same time.

Thanksgiving is a daunting reminder for international students of family and traditions that they’re missing out on to pursue higher education.

Social media is a major contributor to loneliness during the holidays. Scrolling through photos of friends with family or family together back at home can easily make us feel isolated. 

Despite classes being canceled for the holidays and FIU efforts to have Thanksgiving events on campus, there is no substitute for having family with you.

Ranging from the outrageous airline ticket prices or being hours from home can easily prevent students from visiting home, therefore making it critical for students to create their own traditions and celebrate the holiday with the few family members or friends they have here.

Growing up, having a big family with me to celebrate holidays or hangout on a daily basis has always been just an idea, nothing more.

All of my extended family live outside of state or country making it difficult to celebrate the holiday with them. Luckily, I have my immediate family with me. Without them, Thanksgiving Day would be like any other day.

Even if there is no family here, family-like bonds with friends can be effective with dealing with loneliness during the holidays. Friendsgiving is famous for gathering together and celebrating the holiday together.

In comparison, the majority of us would rather be home with family taking part in the traditions we have developed over the years.

Though it can seem minor, these traditions are what we miss the most. On a random Thanksgiving my mother created a sauce of herbs that had quickly become a tradition in our family. 

Despite what’s on the menu, there is no Thanksgiving without it.

The separation from family or loved ones can quickly bring down the holiday causing students to feel isolated during a time of togetherness. Yet, we shouldn’t dwell on what we don’t have: rather, make our own traditions and appreciate what we have as we grow into adulthood.

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