Not all students return home for holiday breaks

Some students stay on campus during breaks due to lengthy travel and work.

Tannishtha Nandi, a freshman physics major, is an international student who stays on campus during breaks in Morgan Hall South. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Fall and winter breaks do not necessarily mean going home to family and friends for every Temple University student.

During Fall Break, held from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, some students celebrated Thanksgiving. Some students will also celebrate various holidays and New Year’s over Winter Break, which begins Dec. 18 and runs to Jan. 12, 2020. 

Many look forward to spending this time at home, but not everyone has the ability or chooses to do so.

Laurence Christopher, a sophomore theater production and management major, lived in Morgan Hall South during Fall Break due to his position as a resident assistant. 

“As long as there is one resident staying, we must have a staff member in the building,” he said. 

From Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Christopher said he knows what to expect when it comes to being away from home during the holidays. He works as an RA as well as a stage manager at Temple, which keeps his mind off of missing home.

When students stay in the residence halls during breaks, they have access to some residential facilities, usually on limited hours, but not all of them remain open, like the Temple University Fitness,  according to Campus Recreation’s website.

Robert Bryant, a freshman communication studies major from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, said he stayed on campus for Fall Break to search for a job he will continue working after the break.

“I’m trying to get a job in Philly because typically, jobs pay better here than in my hometown,” he said.

While some students stay at Temple to work, some cannot go home due to long distances. This is the case for some international students.

Aung Kyaw Sett,  a freshman exercise and sports medicine major, is an international student from Myanmar, a country in Southeast Asia. He will stay in Morgan Hall South for every break this academic year. 

“I am going to be staying here until the summer and will be saving money for an airplane ticket to go home then,” Sett said. “It is very expensive to fly back home to Myanmar.” 

Although being away from family is difficult, Sett said he has adjusted to the distance.

“At first, it wasn’t easy being so far, but I’m used to it now,” Sett added. “I’m just happy that I’m getting a break from everything.”

Tannishtha Nandi, a freshman physics major and international student from India, also stayed on campus during Fall Break this year.

“A week’s holiday is too little to travel 22 hours one way and 22 hours back,” Nandi said. “This includes two days being wasted trying to get out of jetlag. Plus, it’s expensive to travel.” 

Students who stay on campus during the breaks decide if they will celebrate the holidays without their family and peers. 

 While Bryant is in the process of starting a job, he feels as though it would be difficult to celebrate the holidays alone without a community on campus. 

“I feel like celebrating holidays is easier when you have family and friends with you,” Bryant added. “Most of my friends are going home over break.”

Sett said he will experience holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, in America for the first time in his life while on campus. He plans to find events around the area to celebrate the holidays by himself.

“We actually don’t celebrate these holidays back in my home, so I will have to check out what’s going on around the city,” Sett said. 

For Nandi, she celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time with other international students at an event hosted by Temple called the Thanksgiving Host Program.

She used Fall Break to study for her final exams before returning to India for Winter Break. Nandi has a busy schedule which keeps her from thinking about home, but when she has idle time like during Fall Break she feels homesick, she added.

“I usually am caught up with college so I don’t miss home much, but occasionally I do miss the warmth of my parents,” Nandi said. “Especially when I need to do a lot of household work by myself.” 

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