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Good Morning. This is an article from the NY Times. I have edited it a bit but you can use the link to read the entire thing. This is about the state of mind when you are facing the holidays away from home and family- and don't have many friends for one reason or another.

Some UBER drivers will be driving all day this Thanksgiving. Is this because they have no one to spend the day with? Will Ubering pax around to and from family get togethers and parties help a lonely driver or will it increase feelings of isolation and alienation?

Maybe it might be a good idea to make a list of AA and NA meeting near you this week.... at least there will be free coffee and snacks! And if anyone knows what it is like to feel despair when everyone else seems to be experiencing happiness, it is the members of AA and NA. You don't really need to have an active substance abuse issue (alcohol and drugs) to be welcomed by the group. They all know what holidays can do to some people.

Also be aware that the passenger in your car may be depressed and despairing. I am not really sure what a driver can do if a pax starts getting emotionally distraught. I guess that is something I need to research and think about.

OK, here is the NY Times article that started me thinking about this topic.

How First-Generation College Students Do Thanksgiving Break

Jennine Capó Crucet
NOV. 18, 2017


Credit Leonardo Santamaria
LINCOLN, Neb. - In 1999, I had been a freshman in college in upstate New York for maybe two weeks - it was still September, no one had gotten winter jackets out yet - when my classmates started booking their flights home for Thanksgiving. They couldn't wait. They regaled me with stories of family traditions and exotic-sounding food I'd never tried (cranberry sauce) and in some cases never even heard of (green bean casserole).

I hadn't been planning to go anywhere, and certainly hadn't budgeted for it. My Miami-based Cuban family didn't normally celebrate Thanksgiving, although we did try to make a turkey once, a mistake we'd never repeat.

I was the first person in my family to go to college, so I already felt different from my peers in large and small ways. But their excitement about the break took that feeling to a new level. The trip home to Miami was too pricey for me, and in late November the semester was, technically, almost over, but learning that the default for most college students was heading home made me change plans. I wanted to be a typical college student, too.

I used a new credit card to book a last-minute flight to Miami and showed up, without warning, at my parents' house. They were thankfully happy to see me, but couldn't understand why I came, saying with a shrug, "Oh, well, I guess we better do a Thanksgiving now."

My sophomore year, I was a resident adviser, and since I wouldn't be repeating the previous year's impulse buy, I volunteered to cover my dorm's on-call duties over Thanksgiving, an assignment that no one wanted because it meant you couldn't leave campus or even the building itself, after a certain hour.

I was still not prepared for how dead campus would feel. I thought I'd pick up extra shifts at my work-study job: Wrong - the campus movie theater was closed. Fine, I thought, I'll get to study in the choice spots at the library: Wrong - the libraries were closed. Fine, fine, at least I'll get to eat at the dining hall that normally has long lines: The only campus dining hall that was open, with very limited hours, was not the good one.

The students like me who stayed had certain similarities, I noticed. We mostly spoke a language other than English at home. We tended to be the first in our families to go to college, or we were the first in our families to be born in America - or we weren't Americans at all. We hadn't made good enough friends to get an invitation to some strange family's celebration, but that was mostly a relief. It meant we weren't going to be asked uncomfortable questions about our "heritage."

Years later, working as a college access counselor in Los Angeles, I told my students what I'd told myself: "It's not worth it," I'd say, knowing part of me was lying. I knew full well how lonely they might be over Thanksgiving break, how the emptiness of campus might amplify their feelings of alienation. The breaks I spent at Cornell made me see how my college hadn't wholly anticipated someone like me there. My students, all of them from low-income families, would probably see that, too.

The complete article can be found here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/...ight-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region
 

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Just a note about AA - yes, they're welcoming to all, but if you're not an alcoholic be sure to find an "open" meeting (many are open). The "closed" meetings are for alcoholics only. :)

Good article.
 

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Very interesting article... I have always said perception is everything, and this is no exception. Im the first American born in my family, they were really interested in American traditions though so since being here..er well as far as I can remember anyway, they sometimes celebrate Thanksgiving...any excuse for a party and to get the family together was a good excuse, but its not *that* big a deal so we often skip it...and instead of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, its Caribbean food, any traditional American foods, like turkey, is considered a fun twist lol

I was exposed to the holidays way before leaving home because I went to school here, my friends always thought how we did, or rather didn't do things was fascinating and would tell me how they did things, so I wasnt totally unaware, even if I hadnt experienced it for myself. My first Thanksgiving after leaving home, I was by myself...I was in the military and stationed overseas..everyone was beyond depressed over not being home for the holidays, which made me depressed cause base turned into a ghost town since so many refused to leave their barracks. I took a bus to another base, ate a turkey pizza (thought that was hilarious) and bought myself an Enya cd.

The only time I'll *do* thanksgiving is if I have a boyfriend, I seem to be cursed with always having a breakup just before the holidays and going through it single though, so its almost always just kiddo and me, and our holiday tradition is to eat breakfast at IHOP or eat a ham sandwich (she doesnt like turkey lol). Shes working and I'll be driving come Thursday...we agreed to meet up and have a sandwich together when she gets out of work. Thats pretty much it. Im pretty sure, even though shes 2nd Gen American, she will likely not feel the need to come home for TDay and will study, work or catch up on sleep...Christmas is more important, but marginally so. We still eat at IHOP, but wont miss the opportunity to get each other gifts :p

I know it means the world to a lot of people though, so this really is an excellent reminder. Already Ive given rides to a couple college students who didnt go home for the holiday, most have said its finances or work that they couldnt go home too. So its pretty sad for them that campus is a ghost town and eveyone else is with their families.. great shift of perspective for me to be more aware and sensitive to those who may be feeling really down about being alone for the holidays.
 

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These days not every family can do Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day - especially if family members work in retail or in medical. I did Thanksgiving yesterday, so I will be driving tomorrow. I am sure my passengers will assume I am all alone for the holiday, which isn't the case. But that's ok.
 
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