College is a time full of intense study sessions, late night fun and social opportunities 24/7. It means FaceTimes with Mom and Dad, scavenging for food and trying to catch up on sleep every chance you get. For me, college has been one of the best experiences of my life, but it also has made me appreciate things outside of school even more — one of which being Thanksgiving. While the festivities of Thanksgiving have always held a special place in my heart, a whole other layer of value has been added since beginning college, and I think many would agree with me as to why:

1. You get to see your family.

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It’s enough having to stare at screens all day for homework. Goodbye phone calls and FaceTimes, hello face-to-face communication.

2. You can play with your pets.

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There’s nothing like walking into the house and being greeted with love from your furry friend.

3. Home-cooked meals become even more exciting than it was before.

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You will probably eat more than you have this entire semester.

4. You get a much-needed break from school.

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Even though you know you have finals coming up when you return.

5. You get to have a brief check-in with your home friends.

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Sometimes it’s just nice to get back to the familiarity of life before college.

6. You get to take a good shower.

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You’ve never appreciated a clean bathroom and solid water pressure more.

7. Absolutely no FOMO.

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Because you know everyone else is doing their own thing, too.

8. It feels like a vacation.

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Even if you live driving-distance away from your school, just getting off campus gives you that little escape you didn’t even realize you needed.

9. It gives you the stamina to power through the rest of the year.

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The break is just long enough to take you away from the stress of school, but isn’t too long that you need to readjust when you get back.