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Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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  • A large grouping of tall pine trees with the sun peeking through.

    The Oasis That is Thanksgiving Break!

    Jordan Little

    Thanksgiving break has always been a favorite of mine, even though I’m not a fan of turkey. My love of Thanksgiving is far removed from its original meaning and more about how we celebrate it. Similar to New Year’s or the 4th of July, the majority of children and adults in the US are given time off from work/school because of Thanksgiving, often for an entire week. This common practice gives people time for traveling throughout the break. For example, my immediate family and I live in a different state than the rest of my extended family. We live in Georgia while my maternal extended family is located in Chicago, Illinois, and my paternal extended family is located in various parts of northern and central Florida. Because I get to see my maternal family many times throughout the year, my siblings and I enjoy driving down to Florida once a year to visit my paternal family for Thanksgiving.

    Variety at Dinner

    I always have such a fun vacation during Thanksgiving break. I have a lot of family members who live in Florida and who drop by sometime during Thanksgiving week. It’s so interesting to catch up with so many different people while listening to music or eating food. Every family that comes chips in a portion of the big dinner Thanksgiving night, with my host cooking the majority of the dishes served. With so many people at the dinner, guests don't typically eat together at one big table. Instead, people are encouraged to eat in the living room, in the backyard, or even on tables set up in the garage and driveway. Music and laughter are everywhere, and the dinner lasts for hours.

    The Fall Break

    Though I have many personal reasons to enjoy Thanksgiving break, a more common positive about the holiday is when it happens. For college students, the fall semester can be tough. You have to get back to the mindset of school and the weather gets colder and colder. Besides Labor Day weekend, most colleges don’t have a significant break until later November with Thanksgiving. During my first year of college, I would often find myself counting down the days until Thanksgiving as a break from the months of learning I was getting used to. Even if you don’t travel for Thanksgiving, or celebrate the holiday in any way, any student can appreciate the much-needed fall vacation that is Thanksgiving break.

    If you were to ask me what my favorite holiday was, I would likely respond with Christmas. However, if you were to ask me what holiday I look forward to the most, my answer would have to be Thanksgiving. I don’t have many attachments to the historical origin of the holiday, but I spend the majority of the fall semester looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with my family.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 


  • A computer-generated graphic of three people sitting on the floor around a low table and playing a board game.

    Outside the Box Ways to Relax

    Jordan Little

    In school, it is easy to get bogged down by continuous deadlines, assignments, and everyday stressors. Whether you chronically overwork or constantly procrastinate, school can stress you out if you're not conscious of your mental state. Even though taking walks, reading books, and meditating are great stress relievers, those practices and habits don't come naturally to everyone. If you're looking for some "outside the box" ways to relax, here are my two favorite ways to de-stress that are a bit less common.

    Board Games

    If you’re a more social person, I love relaxing by playing board games. Whether they’re collaborative or competitive, board games are a great way to schedule fun, non-academic, and inexpensive activities with your friends and peers. Board games are easy to find and only require a onetime purchase if you don’t already own a particular game. If you’re not looking for physical copies of games, you can also find many games for cheap/free online to play on-the-go or online. At Georgia State University, we are lucky enough to have a tabletop gaming club that can help facilitate these weekly games, but it’s super easy to meet up with friends on your own time to do so. Having a game night with my friends every other week has been a great way for me to stop worrying about what’s been stressing me out that week. I can shift my focus onto the objective of the game at hand while getting to catch up and laugh with my friends.

    Jigsaw Puzzles

    For more introverted people, the activity I’ve taken up most this school year to relax is doing jigsaw puzzles. With a range of difficulties and themes, it’s easy to decide on a puzzle that specifically fits what you want. Personally, I like to listen to a good album, catch up on a show, or relax in silence while focusing on the puzzle. Not only are puzzles a great mental workout, but they help you take a break from being on social media, staring at a screen, or stressing over an assignment. The best part is that your hard work helps create a beautiful finished puzzled that you can glue together and use for decoration or gift giving.

    If you don’t know how to de-stress and relax, you can get overwhelmed in the blink of an eye. It’s great to work hard, but it is also necessary to spend time relaxing and having fun, so your brain can keep working hard without burning itself out. While I really enjoy playing board games and doing puzzles to de-stress, I encourage you to see what activity work best for you. It’s important to know what helps you relax and to set aside time to de-stress.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!