This Thanksgiving will be my second one away from home. Usually I’m in a second home, like my grandpas or an aunt’s house, but I’m in Washington and staying in Washington. (I’m originally from Arizona) It’s a stretch home. But that doesn’t mean I can’t spend it with family here, a family of close friends and their families for the most part. My freshman year Thanksgiving, I stayed in the dorms. An alumni was hosting a get together from any First-Gen-working Class students who couldn’t make it home for the holiday and I joined them. Along with others in the FGWC community, it was a pleasant change from going home. Though the first was the hardest, this year I’ll be away from home home again and going with my roommate’s family to a cabin owned by her godparents. This time, though, I feel apart of the family. My roommate and I get along very well, everything worked out. Of course it’s hard not being around actual family during the holidays, it’s important to be around people who welcome and support you. After the first year, it gets a lot easier to make meaningful connections with a few people as opposed to the new student vibe of getting to know everyone a little bit. Circles become tighter and experiences are shared among the friends who will stick around to help you in your time of need. Going into this finals period (because technically the week before Thanksgiving break should count as one given it’s a mini-frenzy right before for the professors who love cumulative exams), I’m excited to have a new experience with the holidays. I’ll be going back to Arizona for Winter Break, and that isn’t far away at all. Yet it’s still nice to see family. Even the traditions will be different, learning about a new family and their dynamics; they have steak instead of turkey! So, as I go in with an open mind, I hope to soak up as much about the newness of everything. A new place, new people, new food preparation strategies, everything.