How to survive staying on campus during Thanksgiving break


One student studies at the end of a long row of tables on the third floor of Parks Library. Although it’s the first week of summer classes, campus is looking fairly empty as many have gone home and more and more students take their summer classes online.

Maria Pimentel Diaz

It can be hard for international and out-of-state students to make it home for every single academic break. Therefore, here is a guide on how to survive a whole week alone on campus:

  1. Catch up on sleep– It has been a long semester, so take this whole week away from home and sleep until noon. Take advantage of the the fact that no one is there to wake you up at 9 a.m. 
  2. Clean your dorm/apartment– Don’t be a slob. Chances are your room has accumulated a good amount of junk since the semester started. Start cleaning now so you won’t have to do it later.
  3. Catch up on homework– Parks Library will be open some days during break and you’ll have it all to yourself. Take advantage of this, because you might not find any peace and quiet during Dead Week.
  4. Go to the gym– Going to the gym may not sound like a fun way to spend Thanksgiving break, but think about it as preparing for all the food you’re going to eat on Thanksgiving Day and you’ll have it all to yourself.
  5. Find out who else is staying– With international students being 11 percent of the Iowa State community, chances are you’re not alone. Find someone else who is staying, maybe a friend from your hometown or country and organize a friendsgiving.
  6. Take a road trip– If you’re not from Iowa or even the Midwest, you might not know about all the fun (and cheap) things you can do while staying on campus. Gather a group of friends and go to Ledges State Park or Maquoketa Caves State Park. You can even make the drive to Minnesota and visit the Mall of America or go to South Dakota and visit Mount Rushmore.
  7. Call home– Chances are your family misses you as much as you miss them, so give them call. You can even ask your mom for the recipe of your favorite food and bring it to your friendsgiving celebration.

Also, check out the events happening around Ames over break here.