Though they may be far from home, BYU–Hawaii students have expressed celebrating Thanksgiving is still possible with friends as they express their gratitude for each other and the food they share.
Sharing a sentiment of gratitude, Ben Cranney, a freshman business major from California, said, “To show my friends I'm thankful for them, I plan on telling them how much I appreciate them and how they have made my transition period here at BYUH a lot easier.
“When I came here, I was like everyone else. I was in a completely new place, but I have made so many great friends here in Hawaii.”
Being here at BYUH, according to Cranney, has given him a “whole lot of new things to explore in Hawaii, [and] makes me so more thankful for what I have here. I am excited to see how other cultures interact with the idea of Thanksgiving and I hope to learn about new foods and just to spend more time with friends than I normally would with my family.”
Reflecting on what he did last year, Aaron Cordova, a sophomore from California majoring in exercise science, said, “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do because I was away from home, so I ended up eating with my ward. I also got to eat with some friends that day who were doing their own dinner. I’ll probably do the same thing this year.”
Back home in Los Angeles, Cordova said he would get together with his family for dinner and special moments. He would see his aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Cordova said living far away from the people he cares about isn’t going to stop him from expressing his love and gratitude. “I have a lot of friends back home, so I’ll probably call all of them and let them know how much I miss and care about them.”
Spending Thanksgiving in Hawaii instead of going back home is an interesting change of pace, commented Andrew Jonutz, a sophomore from California majoring in accounting. “Before coming here, I went to BYU-Idaho and wasn’t as far away from my family as I am here.”
Describing what he will be doing differently this year, Jonutz said he’ll likely be spending “time with friends and take a day or two to relax and not have to worry about tests.”
This 2018 Fall Semester, Thanksgiving break is on Nov. 22 and 23, which leaves students the option to fly home for the long weekend or make other plans here on the island.
“For the most part, I will probably be spending Thanksgiving at one of my friend's parent’s house who lives on the island,” said Cranney.” [However], since I have a job and will be working during Thanksgiving break, I'm not sure how that will affect my plans yet.”
Even if you don’t have a tradition, you can still have a great four-day weekend, suggested Cordova. He said, “I don’t really have a Thanksgiving tradition here. I might just go to Taco Bell the day before and stock up for the weekend. Other than that, I’m sure my friends here will want to go to the beach where we can enjoy some time together.”