Roast or be roasted: students share Thanksgiving break plans


An example of Friendsgiving, when a group of friends celebrates Thanksgiving together.

Some family traditions are deeply rooted and honored every year at Thanksgiving, while others change because of new members or different families mingling together. Students can discover new Thanksgiving traditions in college, including the celebration of Friendsgiving.

Friendsgiving is when a group of friends come together and each friend makes a single dish to share with their group. Sometimes groups will play games or hang out and watch shows together. It’s more common than people like to think, especially because some students can’t, or don’t want to, go home to spend time with family.

“My family doesn’t do much because we haven’t gone back to Massachusetts in… five or so years,” said Shane Forbes, Guilford ‘19.  “We don’t really do much since we don’t have any family in North Carolina. I also have never done a Friendsgiving, but my girlfriend is bringing me to one this year which should be really fun.” 

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are still trying to make the holiday work. 

“I am going to be spending Thanksgiving with my girlfriend,” said senior Wesley Elliot. “This is partly to do with not wanting to fly to Florida for my family due to the virus. I have no idea when holidays or anything will go back to normal.” 

When asked about Friendsgiving, Elliot shared his plans: “I’ve never done it, but I think I will be this year, but (it will be) very small since my girlfriend can’t take the chance of getting COVID.” 

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, some students may think of their favorite dish, and may want to try new dishes when getting together with friends. Some Guilford students shared their favorite traditions or memories from past Thanksgivings. 

“I think the most memorable tradition as a kid was when I would make pumpkin pie with my mom, and we would bring it to my cousins’ house and I could spend time with them,” Elliot commented.

“I want to just share my tradition of bringing my whole family together with others because there’s nothing quite like family and food.” “I got to see extended family for Thanksgiving, so we would have… 50-plus people at my grandparents’ house,” Forbes said. “We played so many games before dinner but the main one was Spud.” 

“Spud is a game where everyone has a number and you throw the ball in the air and whoever’s number was called had to get the ball while everyone else ran away,” Forbes explained. “When the person got to the ball, they would yell ‘Spud!’ and everyone had to stop. At that point they could throw the ball at anyone they wanted and if they hit them they were out.” 

Senior Vlad Gilligan shared his Thanksgiving plans: “I don’t really like Thanksgiving, but I am going home to be with my family. We don’t really do anything like games or go all out.” 

Gilligan also said that he had never had a Friendsgiving meal, and that he didn’t want to participate.

If students are able, they should grab a few close friends safely and make food to share with each other. Some could even get on a group FaceTime and enjoy their meal together from a distance. Students can be creative and share recipes. However students celebrate Thanksgiving, they should try to have the best experience possible.