By Hannah Gamache

Junior, English major

Have you been abandoned and isolated in a desolate college town for Thanksgiving?  Perhaps the commute home is too far, or your schedule doesn’t allow for travelling. Whatever the reason, don’t fret if you are stuck in Gainesville for the holiday. There are plenty of ways you can celebrate and have fun over Thanksgiving break.

You might be surprised by how many people you know that are staying in Gainesville for the holidays. Ask around, and find a friend or two that you can get together with to celebrate good ol’ Turkey Day. A Thanksgiving potluck with friends is always a fun idea, and even if there is no one in town to celebrate, you can always throw together a festive meal for yourself and have a Thanksgiving movie marathon.

If it isn’t already, Trader Joe’s will become your best friend. They have a fabulous selection of seasonal treats, many of which require little preparation on your part. This is your chance to indulge in all of the pumpkin-flavored treats that you’ve been wanting to taste. Get yourself a pre-made pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, or even pumpkin bread pudding! They also have cranberry sauce in a jar, which you can spread on bread with a dab of spicy brown mustard and goat cheese to make gourmet turkey sandwiches. No need to roast a whole turkey—deli-style will do just fine. For vegetarians, Trader Joe’s has “Breaded Turkey-Less Stuffed Roasts,” which are filled with vegetables, cranberries, and breadcrumbs. Boil some of the seasonal pumpkin ravioli for a tasty side dish.

Just because you can cook for yourself now doesn’t mean you can get out of calling your parents. Give your family a phone call or Skype session, and let the people who are most likely paying for your education know how much you appreciate them. You can also let them know how delicious your Thanksgiving dinner was as proof that you can fend for yourself.

Once your personal Thanksgiving feast is sitting happily in your stomach, there is one last thing you must take advantage of for true a Gainesville Thanksgiving – do what a college student does best: Catch up on sleep!