I have to admit that I’ve never been homesick, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are two holidays that I would do anything to not be on campus. People always ask me if I “went home” over long breaks, and I usually provide some sort of sarcastic answer to cover up the sense of self-pity I feel for having spent too many days sleeping, wandering Nassau Street and sleeping some more.
It’s not that I don’t have friends to visit off-campus, or even ones on-campus who invite me back home for the holidays, but I always feel like that’s a bit of an intrusion for what should truly be family time. So I either travel alone or stay to myself, repeating an admittedly futile mantra that “it’s better this way; more time to catch up!” Apparently having too much time on my hands also makes me slightly delusional.
Especially with the prospects of possibly having to stay on campus this winter, I realize how much a shame it is that Princeton doesn’t have a larger collegiate town (or at least one better integrated with the University). It’s especially problematic for international students, who logically comprise the vast majority of those staying on campus over extended breaks. Few of us have relatives in the US; even fewer have drivers’ licenses to go anywhere without a hassle. The closest DMV to Princeton has no public transportation there, so apparently those of who don’t drive are expected to somehow sprout wings and fly to get a license. Prospects seem quite bleak for us poor souls on campus.
People always talk about having the graduate and undergraduate schools interact more, and extended breaks are a time I think it’s nearly a necessity for this to happen. Whether it’s a special listserv or arranged meals/contact information for those remaining on campus, it seems marginally comforting to know that there are others out there, especially in case of emergency. It also doesn’t seem too difficult to give students staying on campus a stipend for meals in exchange for working miscellaneous campus jobs required during the day. Having RCAs or student leaders staying on campus to arrange get-togethers or group trips also seems like a good bonding experience.
Until then, however, I shall happily look forward to trying to cook my own turkey in two weeks. Anyone living in Witherspoon, sorry in advance for the multiple fire alarms that are bound to go off.