By Sam Bailey / Staff Writer

Imagine being a college student, waking up in your own bed, refreshed from a good night’s rest, to the smell of a warm Thanksgiving meal being prepared in your home.

You’ve spent months living in the dorms, and you can already feel your stomach begging for a good, home-cooked meal with family. 

Thousands of students, all across the country, are anxiously waiting for that day to come.

However, for some students at Hutchinson Community College, this simply isn’t the reality this Thanksgiving season. 

Many students who aren’t from Kansas are choosing to stay in the area for Thanksgiving break for a variety of reasons.

Malasian freshman Zhi Chen says she’s never celebrated Thanksgiving before, as “It’s not a special event in Asia so we didn’t celebrate. Instead, we celebrated a religious festival in Malaysia.”

Also from Malaysia, sophomore Rex Teh, said it’s only his second time celebrating the holiday and he’s not sure what his plans are yet. 

“My friend is trying to invite me to (their) house, but because I think it’s kinda awkward,”Teh said, and I feel bad for interrupting their family. I may just stay in the dorms or I may go with them.”

For students staying in the dorms, the cafeteria will be closed over break, and they will be charged nine dollars per day. All dorms will be closed starting Nov 26 at 2 pm and will reopen Dec 1 at 1 pm. 

So what do students do if they don’t want to travel all the way back home but they also don’t want to stay in the dorms?

“Me and a bunch of football players are going to a lady’s house we know in the community, and we will be staying the week with her,” said freshman football player Gereme Spraggins, who still has the Salt City Bowl on Dec. 7.

“I’m staying here because there’s no point in me going, I’m from Baltimore. That’s 19 hours away, so there’s no point in me going home for … three to four days, then come back up for a week, just to book another flight to go home for Christmas break.”

With Christmas seemingly right around the corner, some students have appeared to have skipped over Thanksgiving all together and are looking forward to the Christmas season. 

When asked what he thinks of the holiday, Teh said, “I think it’s a good way to express your thankfulness, and I think it’s a good thing too, because we have more time for studying for finals, and if you go home to celebrate with your family, you have good food.”

Spraggins also commented on his enjoyment of the holiday by saying, “It’s a free day of soul food. Of just food made from the soul, with seasoning and love. You’re (also) around family and cousins that you like.”

Students who do stay at the dorms over break will not completely miss out on the traditional food. There will be a Thanksgiving meal provided by the cafeteria Nov 26 for lunch. This is free for any dorm students.  

There are also multiple local churches that will be providing Thanksgiving dinners for anyone who wants to take part in the festivities. 

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