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Thoughts on Thanksgiving: Four students give their thoughts on Thanksgiving

Both excitement and frustration arise among post-secondary students in light of Thanksgiving weekend.

“I’ve been counting down the days until I can come home,” said Paul Nicola, a graduate student at Carleton University.

Nicola was born and raised in Calgary in a tight-knit Italian family. 

Moving away from his family was challenging, but Nicola counts on holidays like Thanksgiving for an opportunity to return home.

“My grandparents are setting up a feast,” said Nicola. 

“I’m so excited to forget about school for a few days and reconnect with my family.

While Thanksgiving is not a traditionally celebrated holiday in Italy, many Italian-Canadian families take part in the festivities, said Nicola.

“We love to drink, and we love to eat. 

Thanksgiving is just another excuse for us to all get together.”

Megan Tremblay, a recent University of Lethbridge graduate, is spending the year abroad. She will be spending Thanksgiving away from her family for the first time.

“I’ll be FaceTiming my family this year,” said Tremblay. 

“Thanksgiving is huge in my family – I can’t believe I’m missing it.”

Tremblay will be in Australia for Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, who is from the country. 

Australia does not celebrate Thanksgiving, and a lack of food options has prevented Tremblay from cooking a traditional turkey dinner.

“Thanksgiving food isn’t big here at all. They don’t even have pumpkin pie,” said Tremblay.

Tremblay is already anticipating next year’s Thanksgiving, which she plans to celebrate in Calgary.

Despite Nicola and Tremblay’s liking for the festive fall holiday, one SAIT student was not looking forward to the Thanksgiving long weekend.

“I honestly hate holidays like this,” said a SAIT sheet metal apprentice.

“I don’t have much family around, and Thanksgiving is a reminder of that.”

As the long weekend approaches, everyone chats about their plans for the holiday. This adds to the difficulties surrounding the holiday, the apprentice said. 

“I just wish they [other students] realized we don’t all have families to celebrate with.”

“Not everyone wants to talk about the turkey they’re not going to have.”

A few years ago, Christina Tobias could relate to a lack of family around holidays.

Tobias, a Mount Royal University student, found a way to celebrate Thanksgiving and other holidays without family close by.

“I love celebrating Thanksgiving with friends,” said Tobias.

“It’s pretty casual – we drink and we play games. We eat all our favourite foods.”

“Friendsgiving,” a Thanksgiving celebration with friends, is becoming more common among younger generations, said Tobias.

“Who says you can only celebrate these holidays with family?

We celebrate New Year’s Eve and birthdays with our friends. Why should Thanksgiving be any different?”

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