Friendsgiving- a holiday that you cannot find on official calendars, but a holiday that liters Snapchat filters and lingers in the schedule planners of college students across the country.
Thanksgiving has always been a time for family. An opportunity to see cousins that you haven’t see since last Thanksgiving. A time for your grandparents to fill you up with food after swearing that you’ve lost weight since they’ve seen you last. And a chance for your parents to catch you up with all the latest news and gossip from the family.
In college, however, friends are the ones who take on the role of your family when your blood relatives are not within reach. For many students, college is the first time that they find themselves truly fending for themselves. I heavily relied on my family to be my number one support system. Yet, when I left the comfort of Queens, New York and settled on Commonwealth Avenue in 2016, my new friends were the ones who filled the void that my family holds when I am home. Friends are the ones who are immediately there for you as you learn to clean the bathroom, they are the shoulders that you lean on when you receive a low score on the exam that you spent weeks preparing for, and the ones on the other end of your text messages when you’re looking for someone to eat dinner with.
This is why the concept of Thanksgiving has taken on a new level of importance in college settings. Friendsgiving becomes a time for us to show our friends who have become our family how much we really appreciate them. Sure, the food may not be up to par with your mom’s homemade turkey and apple pie, but the company is why we really celebrate, the food is just a bonus.
As I write this blog post I am on the bus back to Boston after four fun filled days back home. Every time I leave home I am sad. Sad to be away from my family until our next break and sad to return to the work that is sure to follow in the weeks ahead. However, this four-hour bus ride has given me the opportunity to reflect on all that I gain while at BU. The people both back home in NY and at school have provided me with a “family” in two cities. Now I know that sadness is the wrong word to describe how I feel while exiting the New York borders. Rather, I would say that I feel bittersweet. While it is always bitter to say bye for now to my loved ones at home, now I know the sweetness of having a second family in Boston to eat turkey with, to support me, and a second family to give thanks to this November.