Tagged: family

Life Hacks: How to Survive Thanksgiving at Home

By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
@shizupates

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here/ PHOTO VIA Flikr user Craig Dugas.

It’s that time of year where Halloween decorations may still be up, but advertisements for Christmas gifts are already coming out. It seems as though some forget that we have this holiday during which we celebrate the American Indians and the Pilgrims coming together.

Honestly, I think we should be giving this holiday a bit more credit. Do we get a whole week off for Halloween? Didn’t think so.

I think we all need this break because let’s face it, some of us are losing steam and getting overwhelmed due to a lack of sleep and massive amounts of stress. Luckily, Thanksgiving is the perfect way to rest up and come back stronger than ever for the last month of your fall semester (where did the time go?). But before you go postal, here are a few things to remember:

1. Realize that you don’t have free reign

This especially applies to those of you going home to your immediate families. College is wonderful in that you can do whatever you want (for the most part) because no one is going to tell you “no.” This is your time to be young, wild and free; but remember that your parents are still your parents. Telling them that staying up till 4 a.m. and waking up at 3 p.m. is normal probably isn’t going to fly with them. Do yourself a favor and tone down the independence – they want their baby back too!

2. Adjust to your audience

For those staying with your distant family or friends, remember that they let you in out of the kindness of their hearts. Don’t take advantage of them by being a complete slob. Instead, offer to do the dishes or help cook. After all, it’s the least you can do because, think about it – they’re saving you from spending who knows how much money on BU’s vacation housing. Plus, you get a home-cooked meal. After dealing with dining hall food for almost a full semester, I’m sure you’ll appreciate that very much.

3. Be thankful

It is, after all, Thanksgiving. Appreciate where you are and what you’ve been given. You’re going to one of the best colleges in the Boston area. Not everyone gets the opportunity to do so. We’re in such a beautiful place with some of the best people I’ve ever met. There are so many things to do and so many people to meet that it’s almost overwhelming, and it’s something we can easily take for granted. Take the break as a breather from BU and  use it to realize all the opportunities you have. If you haven’t done much here, do something! Get pumped, you still have the rest of the semester to do something awesome.

Cheesiness aside, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with great food and loved ones, whether they be your family or your friends.

My Adventures in Chicago

By Michelle Jay, Multimedia Editor
@michelllelynn

As my junior year came to a close, I watched as most of my friends prepared for their summers in New York City or Boston or some other city that wasn’t the one they grew up while I packed up and moved back to the house I grew up in. To say I was dreading it might have been an understatement. The large majority of my friends, even my best friend from high school, were going to be living 1,000 miles away. It’s not that I don’t love my family, but after eight months of relative freedom, the prospect of moving back under my parents’ roof as a 21-year-old was not thrilling.

May 5 found me settled back into the same room I slept in from birth until high school graduation, sharing a car with my younger brother and relying on technology to maintain my relationships back east.

My internship started mid-May and I quickly settled into a routine. While I still whined and complained, summer seemingly flew by. Suddenly, I am preparing for my senior year of college.

Then I realized this was my last “real” summer. After years of eight months of school followed by four months of summer, once I graduate in May that concept disappears. This summer is probably the last time I could ­– guilt free – come home for four months to work four days a week and lay around the other three while having my dad cook a large majority of my meals, my mom clean up around me and my little brother bother me.

Looking back, I’m kind of glad I came home for my last summer. Had I not, I would have missed things that are uniquely home experiences: screaming at the television with my family while watching the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, eating Portillos, walking to the downtown area of my town at 8:30 p.m. – only to find everything closed at 8 p.m., running at dusk and having fireflies blink around me and, of course, family dinners that involve “discussions” of whether my brother or I get the car the next day.

This summer reminded me that no matter where I go I can always go home.

Watch the video below for a song that inspires one about home:

Christmas is wherever home is

By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer
@sanahfaroke

Despite finals week quickly approaching, I cannot help but constantly think about my winter break back home. As a transfer student, this is my first time away from my family, and yes, I may slightly sound like a baby, but okay, fine―I do sound like a baby, but baby it’s cold outside, and I’m so ready to go back to my 80-degree weather and palm trees. Things that I have despised about my former city of Miami have now become characteristics of a place I’ve longed to be apart of again.

Miami Christmas

Chirstmas in Miami / IMAGE VIA imaginelifestyles.com

I’ll admit, Christmas in Boston is probably more of a classic white Christmas. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but never experienced, and this cold weather really is wonderful. When it does snow, I feel like I’m walking in a winter wonderland, but home is home. Wouldn’t you agree? No matter where home is, that’s where your Christmas is as well. It doesn’t have to be snowing where I’m going, and I don’t have to walk by bare trees, either.

What is getting me through these final weeks of school is the image of walking off the airplane ramp, collecting my luggage and being embraced by home. The Spanish of Miami, the warm wind, the carefree atmosphere, my mothers’ hug. It’s home.
I think going home for the holidays is keeping everyone as sane as possible. Unlike Thanksgiving vacation, not everyone was able to fly home either because of ridiculously expensive flight tickets or living internationally, but for this one time, Boston’s student population will desert this city and fly back to the coop.

So while I’m stuck in my room wearing baggy sweats with my hair disheveled, a textbook in one hand and a jar of peanut butter in the other, my mind drifts back to the homeland. I just keep reminding myself there’s only ten more days till I return home. Wherever home is for you, it will have cheerful, holly feel, filled with chess nuts, candy canes, mistletoe, home cooked meals (yum!) and an ever-present love for your loved ones and love for your hometown. Keep that in mind to keep you going.

How to deal with your family’s awkward questions

By Olivia DeFrances, Staff Writer
@abstractinspire

It’s time for the holidays! Which means peace, joy, good will, food, parties and oh, those awkward encounters with your relatives!
Relatives like to give squishy, uncomfortable hugs and ask lots of questions.  What kind of questions do you get asked when you visit home for the holidays?

Still single

This is not a conversation starter, family / IMAGE VIA boundless.org

Here are some of the classically awkward:
1)    “Are you seeing anyone? Why are you still single?”
2)    “Do you have a job yet?”
3)    “You’ll come stay with us over the summer, won’t you?”
4)    “Why don’t you call me anymore?”
5)    “What are your grades like?”
6)    “When did you get that tattoo?”
7)    “What do you do on the weekends?”

And here are some of the awkward and weird that I’ve heard:
1)    “So, I suppose all that money I’m sending you is going to pizza and beer, right?”
Answer: “Uhh.” (Is this supposed to be a condescending or funny?)
2)    “How’s the party scene?”
Answer: “Oh, I study on the weekends!”
3)    “You haven’t gone and become a communist on me, have you?”
Answer: Weird glare. (Liberal arts doesn’t mean communism, family.)
4)    “I miss college. I want to go back and take some classes. What would you think of that?”
Answer: Yeah, no.
5)    “Can I read your papers?”
Answer: I’ve already had them criticized enough, thanks!

Tattoo

Probably not the best response to the question about your tattoo / IMAGE VIA critink.tumblr.com

I’m sure there are many more awkward questions we all get each time we go home. When these questions arise, you typically have three options:

-Be honest. But that might get you into a lot of trouble, unless you have answers that are generally agreeable with your family, which isn’t usually the case.
-Lie. But that involves thinking on your toes, which you might not be able to do. In fact, after finals, you might not be able to think at all.
-Dodge around the question. “Oh, Aunt Sue, did you bring your green bean casserole today? It looks awesome.” “How’s Mr. Snuggles doing?” Or just laugh, smile and nod. They will be satisfied, and you won’t have answered the question.

Protip! Talk about school stuff. That way, it’ll be relevant, you won’t be lying and best of all, you can avoid talking about your personal life!

Here’s wishing you the best of the holidays and a smooth route out of those awkward holiday questions.

Tales of a Transplant: Family I never knew existed

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
@rygalindo

Husky meme

My reaction when my parents told me about family members I never knew I had. PHOTO COURTESY ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.COM

 

I grew up thinking I had family that lived in the Philippines, Guam, Orlando, Fla. and Los Angeles. Nothing more, nothing less. And I believed that for 18 years.

When the time came for my me and my parents to decide where I would be going for college, I sat them down in our living room. I had applied to colleges all over the U.S. and was fortunate enough to be accepted to most of them. It was a surprise when my parents started listing off names of family members I never knew existed that lived nearby certain universities I was accepted to. The conversation went something like this:

Parents: Oh, Seattle University? You have cousins that live there.

Me: Huh?

Parents: You have an aunt that lives in New Jersey.

Me: Seriously?

Parents: NYU and Fordham? We have family in New York.

Me: Oh my goodness!

Parents: Chaminad University? We have family in Honolulu, too.

Me: Wait—what?

I was dumbfounded.

Nonetheless, as confused as I was at this sudden revelation of our extended family tree, I was all the more excited to go to college. Yes, I’d have somewhere to stay during breaks, I thought to myself.

Thanksgiving weekend was the first opportunity I had to stay with my new found family. They live in a town outside Newark, N.J., so I took the bus from Boston to Newark Penn Station. It was a slow bus ride, prolonged by the holiday traffic and made longer by the anticipation I felt. I was going to meet these family members for the first time. All I knew was that my dad and the woman I was meeting were cousins, and that she and her husband had three children, all around my age.

When I got to Penn Station, I nervously stood in the cold waiting for them to pick me up. I was looking for a turquoise Nissan Altima, according to my new second cousin. Once it pulled up to the pick-up area, I saw my cousins waving out the window, smiling. And with that, all my anxiety was erased. They seem like nice people, I thought.

And I was right. From there we hit off pretty well. We have similar tastes in music and hobbies, and we like to eat, as demonstrated by our appetite during Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently, they didn’t know of my existence either. My dad’s cousin (their mother) had only informed them just recently. So that became another thing we had in common.

Like every person who’s never been to Guam, they asked me what Guam was like and how I like BU. In return, I asked the similar questions about New Jersey and their schools.

There was never a dull moment during the weekend.  We went out every day, whether it was to go Black Friday shopping or going to New York City for the first time—which, by the way, was AMAZING. I’ve always wanted to visit the city, and now I can check that off my bucket list.

Galindo

A photo of me and my family in Times Square, on the right side of the billboard. A Google Chrome promo used a webcam to take a photo of us and posted it to a billboard.  RYAN GALINDO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

It was quite depressing when I had to go. I knew I’d miss them badly. But I’ve already made plans to return for spring break, so it wasn’t all that bad.

So this Thanksgiving, I was thankful for the five seemingly new family members I gained, who took me in and made me feel as loved and appreciated as if I’d known them my whole life. Surely, lots of people have relatives, however distant, they’ve never met. Go meet yours.

What’s a traditional Thanksgiving, anyway?

By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer
@sanahfaroke

I was raised celebrating traditional American holidays—at least, they seemed traditional to me. But seeing as my mother is Jamaican and my father is Indian, their views certainly impacted my view of a traditional holiday. Living in Miami, I grew up alongside Hispanic culture infused into everything, even without me noticing the impact of its influence.

With the most American tradition of all time, Thanksgiving, coming up within a matter of days, I’m beginning to notice that nothing I’ve really experienced in my hometown has been truly American.

Every year for Thanksgiving, my family and I would walk to our neighbor’s house in the Miami fall (if you can call it that) weather, wearing sleeveless dresses and open toe shoes. As soon as we stepped foot into my neighbors’ house, Spanglish emerged from all corners. The smell of arroz con gandules, jamon, ensalada de papa and maduros filled the room, as well as turkey, of course.

I could never understand how the smell could make my mouth water so much until I sunk my teeth into the chicken and realized it was because I was in heaven. I had the best of two worlds―one American and one Hispanic. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hispanic Thanksgiving

A possible Hispanic Thanksgiving / IMAGE VIA hispanicallyspeakingnews.com

This year, for the first time, I won’t be able to taste delicious flan, pastel de choclo or drink sangria, and it just might be torture. For the first time, I’m going to be in New England for Thanksgiving. It seems appropriate for the very traditional cranberry sauce, turkey with gravy and stuffing Thanksgiving. While being in Massachusetts gives me the opportunity to finally experience a traditional Thanksgiving, turns out I’ll be having an Indian Thanksgiving instead. Yes, it’ll be my first too.

To be honest, I have no idea what to really expect. Maybe the turkey will have chili powder on it and the house will smell like spices and curry. And in the absence of Spanish, Urdu would be the dominant language in the house. Would we pray in English? Would we get out the prayer rugs or skip that ritual all together? For sure we would not end the prayer with “In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

One thing is certain: although the last time I saw my Indian relatives was when I went to India about six years ago, they are still my family, like the ones I left back home. They probably don’t speak Spanish, eat smoked ham or allow me to wear sleeveless dresses (although I wouldn’t want to in this cold New England weather), but with them, I’ll be able to make new traditions.

I’ll relish over the tomato chutney, samosa and vegetarian biryani (with a tall glass of water on the side). I may not be able to watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” as I usually do every year, but it’s possible I can persuade them, surely for the children to enjoy. (Okay, and a small part of it for me, too.)

Whatever kind of Thanksgiving you’re having—whether it’s a Hispanic, Indian or a Charlie Brown one—be sure to give thanks, indulge in amazing food and make new traditions.