Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away, and while people take advantage of the break from school in many ways, Thanksgiving can mean reuniting with family and friends at home, watching football or celebrating with dinner plates overflowing with food.
This week, I sat down with several students eating at Rebel Market to talk about their plans for the upcoming break.
Holly Steen, a junior civil engineering major from Wesson, ate fried chicken, mac and cheese, broccoli and sweet potatoes while she explained that she is using the break to visit her boyfriend and family back home. She said her family typically stays home and cooks the classic Thanksgiving foods: glazed turkey, fluffy mashed potatoes and traditional stuffing.
Not all Ole Miss students have the stereotypical American Thanksgiving, however.
I also talked to Bennett Matson and Advent Travine, whose Thanksgiving traditions were pretty direct contrasts to one other and an effective comparison of a typical Thanksgiving to one that is a little less traditional.
Matson, a public policy leadership major from Memphis, was eating some cantaloupe, yogurt and granola. Although his family is travelling to New Orleans this year, the Matson family typically reunites in North Mississippi, watches football and participates in some fairly competitive games of cornhole every Thanksgiving.
“Everyone in my family is scattered all over the country at this point,” said Matson. “So we really only come together for the holidays — it’s the best time to reconnect.”
Travine, on the other hand, is a chemistry major from India. He was eating fried chicken and mac and cheese (which, I’ve come to learn, is quite a popular combination on Thursdays in the Rebel Market). His family does not usually celebrate Thanksgiving because most of his relatives are still in India. Instead, Travine is planning on going to the beach with his parents and sister and eating at a nice restaurant on Thanksgiving Day.
“It’s usually just a big vacation for us,” Travine said.
While Matson’s and Travine’s different Thanksgiving traditions are connected by visits with family, not everyone gets to spend Thanksgiving with their family.
For student-athletes like John McBride, Thanksgiving break is an opportunity to play sports without having to worry about class.
McBride, a freshman accounting major from Memphis, plays on the Ole Miss basketball team. He was eating a grilled chicken sandwich and fruit, a healthy option because he is trying to stay in shape. He will spend his Thanksgiving break with the rest of the team, competing in a tournament in Destin.
Even though McBride won’t be at home with his biological family, he said he’ll be with a different sort of family.
“I’m super excited for it. I love those guys,” McBride said.