Although Bailey Spangler has to work in Philadelphia during her fall break, she is excited to return home for a few days, celebrate Thanksgiving with her family in their new house in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and continue her favorite holiday tradition.
“We have a tradition that every year on Thanksgiving, my mom buys an ornament for everybody in the family,” said Spangler, a junior neuroscience major. “We’ve done it since I was a kid, so that’s always fun. Everybody gets a cute ornament every year.”
Temple University students are eager to return home and enjoy their fall break — which lasts until Nov. 29 — with their friends and families, especially after many altered their plans last year amid COVID-19 hesitancies and travel restrictions.
Veronika Cunningham is excited to spend time with her grandparents in Connecticut during break because she did not see them at all last Thanksgiving. Her family was afraid of traveling to see them in case they potentially spread COVID-19.
“I’ll probably just cook and hang out with them,” said Cunningham, a junior criminal justice major. “They’re not big TV watchers or anything, so probably just, you know, do a board game. They’re homebodies, so just typical old people stuff.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people delay their travel plans until they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or otherwise get tested for COVID-19 before and after traveling. While celebrating Thanksgiving, people should avoid large crowds, according to the CDC’s website.
As of Nov. 24, there are 31 COVID-19 cases among Temple students and faculty. About 97 percent of students and faculty are fully vaccinated, according to the university’s vaccine and case dashboard.
Haley Dunn and Kamryn Batton were friends growing up together in Illinois and are spending their first fall break as Temple students on campus to save money they would’ve otherwise spent on traveling.
“It would cost too much money because it’s just like a week and we only want to go home when we have a longer break,” said Dunn, a freshman psychology major
The two are looking forward to taking a break from all their schoolwork and potentially having their own “friendsgiving,” said Batton, a freshman global asian studies major.
Last year, the City of Philadelphia announced a ban on indoor gatherings between people of different households days before Thanksgiving in an effort to combat rising COVID-19 cases, The Temple News reported.
Addy Bielski has not been to her home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, since arriving at Temple in mid-July, and is looking forward to seeing family and friends. She’s especially excited to eat her mom’s no-bake pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
“It’s really good,” said Bielski, a freshman health professions major. “I’m really excited to go home.”
Bielski’s family traditionally sorts through store catalogues every year before going Black Friday shopping together in person, Bielski said. While they chose not to go in person last year due to the pandemic, they still browsed catalogues and shopped online.
After spending most of his first semester living with roommates in White Hall, Nolan Lortz realized how much he took for granted while living at his childhood home in Pittsburgh, and is eager to return for break.
“The home-cooked meals, having my own room, my dogs, I miss it,” said Lortz, a freshman undeclared major.