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For Students on Campus, Thanksgiving Brings Rest, Feasting

Harvard students staying on campus for Thanksgiving enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast prepared by Harvard University Dining Services staff.
Harvard students staying on campus for Thanksgiving enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast prepared by Harvard University Dining Services staff.
By Melanie Y. Fu, Contributing Writer

While many students traveled off campus for home-cooked meals and family reunions this Thanksgiving, students staying at Harvard used the temporary lull to catch up on sleep, focus on work, and sample the dishes they had come to expect from the holiday.

Harvard students staying on campus for Thanksgiving enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast prepared by Harvard University Dining Services staff.
Harvard students staying on campus for Thanksgiving enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving feast prepared by Harvard University Dining Services staff. By Melanie Y. Fu

From 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, students flocked to Adams House dining hall for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner featuring New England classics such as cider-glazed ham, roast turkey, and three different types of pies—apple, pecan, and pumpkin.

Surrounded by the golden tones of Adams and the din of conversation, students found a warm, comfortable atmosphere.

“It feels very homey and nice,” Benjamin J. Rasmussen ’15-’16 said. “I’m not getting any work done. Just hanging out.”

Other students praised Harvard University Dining Services and the College for creating a welcoming environment.

Gurbani Kaur ’17 said, “I love HUDS because HUDS is literally the most inclusive and caring [group of] people. They went out of their way [to do this dinner]...so I really appreciate it.”

For many freshmen, this Thanksgiving was their first away from home.

“Although I do miss my family, I think Harvard is doing a very good job of integrating me and making me feel like I’m part of this community,” Javier Cuan-Martinez ’18, a student from California, said. “Later today some of my friends and I are going to have Thanksgiving dinner and it’s going to be a lot of fun. And I’m just enjoying myself with all the snow and everything.”

Despite the relaxed nature of Thanksgiving break, some students said they set ambitious work goals.

“I have to get a lot of work done,” Corbin T. Gearhart ’18 said. “[I’ve got] a few final papers to work on. Nobody from my entryway is here, so I kind of have the dorm to myself.”

For Kaur, balance was key in enjoying her break.

“I’m doing schoolwork, I’m spending time with my friends, and I’m calling home and talking to my family,” Kaur said. Responding to a friend's suggestion that they explore Cambridge, she said, “That could be fun. We should go do that.”

Regardless of workload, many students found Thanksgiving break to be a reminder to slow down and reflect.

“I think that this break is mainly so I can ‘destress-ify,’ for the most part, for the coming finals season,” said Martinez. “I’m thankful for Harvard, for my friends, my family. I’m very thankful for the food. That turkey was pretty nice.”

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