Courtesy of northjersey.com
By Zachary Lichter
Between Friday, November 19 and Wednesday, November 24, 2022, students at the Catholic University of America (CUA) made the trip home for Thanksgiving. With any student in college during this time of year, many common questions usually pop up in conversations: What day are you leaving for Thanksgiving? What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Are you taking the train or flying, or are your parents picking you up?
Sophomore English and secondary education major Amanda Brotzman commented on what makes Thanksgiving special.
“Thanksgiving is an exciting holiday for my family because my brothers and I get to go back home,” Brotzman said. “I think my parents really look forward to having their kids in the house again because we are all away at school or live on our own. I know it is exciting for us kids because we get to see our parents and grandparents. It is a pretty relaxing holiday, but I know we are all excited to spend some quality time together.”
While many students go home for Thanksgiving, some decide to stay on campus due to the cost of flights or trains. Some students who live across the country or are studying abroad also decide to stay on campus for Thanksgiving break because of the shortness of the break. This year Thanksgiving break lasts from Wednesday, November 23, to Sunday, November 28. On October 13, Victor David, the Interim Director of Residence Life, emailed a Google Form to the students on campus asking who would be staying on campus during the break. Students had until November 18 to fill out the survey. According to Residence Life, they received a response rate of 25% from the Thanksgiving survey. Of those students responding, 8% said they were staying on campus at some point during the break.
With many students going home for Thanksgiving break, there are concerns about increased exposure to COVID-19. COVID-19 cases are expected to increase between December and March. There is also an increase in young children being diagnosed with a disease called the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which causes mild cold-like symptoms. RSV is the most common cause of bronchitis and pneumonia. Many children diagnosed with RSV are at least younger than one year old. There is also an increase in people being sick with the flu as well.
“With the holiday seasons approaching, many people are wondering about the COVID trends,” said senior nursing major Elizabeth Mastoros. “As a nursing major, I get to see a lot of sick people at my clinicals and at my job as a patient care tech at the hospital. While there are still a few COVID cases, the big concern for this fall is RSV in young children and the elderly as well as the flu. Hopefully we can all enjoy our holiday and stay healthy as well! I hope we all enjoy our holidays with our families and close friends and stay healthy doing so. I pray that everyone remains safe and that our campus community is well overall.”
Thanksgiving is usually one of the only holidays during the school year when most colleges simultaneously have school breaks. Students get the opportunity to see their friends and family during the break. It is also a time of relaxation from the stress of classes before students head back to campus and prepare for their final exams, which will happen from Tuesday, December 13, to Friday, December 16.
“I am looking forward to seeing my parents, my brothers, my grandparents, and my friends,” Brotzman said. “I have a lot of family traditions for the day before Thanksgiving, the day of, and the day after, so I am really looking forward to those. I also am going to get to see my two best friends from home that I have not seen in a long time, so I am so, so, so excited to see them and spend my birthday on Wednesday with them.”