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Home for the Holidays… Or Not?

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With the echoes of Thanksgiving still lingering, the jingling bells of Christmas are soon to ring — but will every college student be able to go home for the holidays?

No matter which holidays are being celebrated, this time of year is a special one for most people, with many traveling to their hometowns to spend time with friends and family. However, this can be a challenge for many, especially young college students who often live far from home and have limited funds to pay for the trip. Not only this, but a key issue for countless students is often forgotten about: the sad reality of not having any family to go home to at all. 

Plenty of students may not have safe or healthy relationships with their families, leaving them more inclined to spend the holidays alone in their dorms. When also factoring in students who grew up in the foster care system, or whose parents are both deceased, these numbers only grow. The fact is, to put it bluntly, that not all young people are welcomed into the bosom of family during this crucial time in their lives.

The holidays are not a joyful time for everyone. Those estranged from their relatives often feel as if they are on the outside looking in during the holidays, watching the familial bliss that eludes them year after year. Roommates and friends seem to pass them by, rushing to and fro all month long for holiday plans with their families. It can be a very lonely, very painful time of year.

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As if this isn’t enough, another common concern is the ever-growing cost of travel. Many part-time and full-time working students cannot afford to miss out on valuable holiday hours at their workplaces, which could risk them both a loss of funds and a loss of favor with their employers. As the cost of living seemingly increases by the day, many students are at risk of becoming homeless or otherwise destitute without a consistent stream of income, leaving them unable to pay for rent and other necessities. When factoring in the students estranged from their families with no financial support, going anywhere for any holiday can be virtually unthinkable.

During this warm and cozy time of the year, one should consider a new act of generosity to their fellow (younger) neighbors: invite a lonely college student to Thanksgiving dinner, or to help trim the tree. Welcome them to new family traditions, teach them how to bake the perfect pumpkin pie. If anything, show some kindness to all people everywhere you go, because you never know what they might (or might not be) going home to. After all, that’s what the spirit of Christmas is all about. 

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About the Contributor
Frankie Mann
Frankie Mann, News/Opinions Editor
Frankie Mann, is the News and Opinions Editor of The Mesa Press. She is a second year student at Mesa, and plans on transferring to SDSU at the end of the 2023-2024 year under a journalism major. While not in class, she is most likely at work as a barista at S3 Coffee Bar (the one struggling behind the bar to make some decent latte art). In her free time, she enjoys ballet, surfing, skateboarding, and spending time in nature and with friends. Frankie hopes to use her journalistic skills to further peaceful relations amongst the people of the world, and bring about positive change and social justice for all.
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    ShirleyDec 11, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Frankie has an amazing insight into how the holidays can have conflicting messages. Well said and a better understanding as to how different the holidays mean to everyone.

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