With Thanksgiving break beginning next week, students are excited to return to hometown routines, and those who are not going home are pleased to have some time off from classes.
Cornell students hail from across the country and world, with most students coming from New York, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Thanksgiving is the first extended break in the fall semester in which the majority of students will be traveling home to see families.
Brenna Tosh ’24 from Newport Beach, California, is looking forward to visiting her favorite restaurants and attending a theater production with her mother and grandmother when she returns home for the break.
“The things that remind me of comfort and the things that comforted me in high school, such as my dog, very honestly that’s a great thing for me to look forward to,” Tosh said.
Many students relocated to Ithaca from urban areas such as New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., finding the adjustment a culture shock. Caroline Smiltneks ’26 from the D.C. metropolitan area takes advantage of the city each time she visits home.
“I think it’s nice to be back in a city after being in Ithaca,” Smiltneks said. “I’m looking forward to a change of scenery and seeing my family and friends.”
Ultimately, while students are eager to be back in their own homes, they find most comfort in getting to see their closest loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Relationships here can be hard, so going back to something that’s constant back home is something that I know will be nice,” Tosh said.
Some students do not have the opportunity to leave Ithaca for the break due to being a great distance from home. Sophia Pearce ’26, also from Newport Beach, has not been home since traveling to Cornell for move-in day.
“My parents call me twice a week but I miss seeing them and my cat in person,” Pearce said. “I miss going to the beach and seeing my friends.”
While Pearce won’t get to visit her hometown and family for Thanksgiving, she is excited to have a break from classes and homework.
“I’m thinking of maybe meeting new people and picking up a hobby potentially…I can study for finals because I have some free time,” Pearce said.
Pearce is also excited about what Cornell Dining has to offer for the Thanksgiving meal, which will consist of two seatings at Morrison Dining Hall.
“I’m excited for them to switch it up, some of the options have been getting repetitive,” Pearce said.
Other students, like Natalie Rosenberg ’24 from Orange County, California, are leaving campus but not going home. Rosenberg will be spending Thanksgiving with her friend’s family in Cleveland, Ohio.
“To get back home it takes about a full day of travel…I’d rather just avoid Thanksgiving travel and go back home in a few weeks for Christmas,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg has spent the break in Cleveland in past years at Cornell. While she gets homesick sometimes, she enjoys having opportunities to build relationships with her friend’s family.
“Sometimes it’s hard when my friends can easily drive home for the weekend while it takes ten hours for me to get home, but I’m glad I’m exploring a new part of the country,” Rosenberg said.