Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your family and/or friends :)
This year I have so much to be thankful for- my family, my friends, all of the opportunities I've been granted and especially that of UWC. These past few months have been, as you've all read, incredible. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many interesting, brilliant, funny people who have taught me so much and shared their worlds and perspectives with me. And I have to also thank my family and friends at home, without whom I wouldn't be here and who have supported me throughout this adventure- I'll see you guys in just three short weeks!
So how exactly does Thanksgiving work at UWC? Well, most of the students here have never celebrated or even heard of the holiday, and even those who have can't completely explain what Thanksgiving is. The week leading up to the break, we discussed as a school what Thanksgiving is, shared a little bit of history (which, let me tell you, I have never heard with so much debate. You would not believe the amount of students who immediately take the Native American's side and fiercely admonish the pilgrims), and shared what a normal Thanksgiving looks like for American families- eating, sleeping, and football.
Some students stayed on campus but a lot of the American students traveled home for the long weekend and took friends with them. Other students spent the week with their "getaway families" (I think I've mentioned those before- local families who host students for holidays and sometimes take them on outings or just to spend time with a real family). And a few students, myself included, spent the weekend with friends in one of the larger cities nearby.
Five of my friends and I spent a few days in Albuquerque and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in downtown ABQ and spent our time catching up on sleep, eating yummy food (I have to admit, we had Italian food for Thanksgiving dinner. But it was fantastic (and one of the only places open)), doing a little Black Friday shopping (a first for all of us, even the Americans), going to movies, and just walking around the city and having a great time. Being off campus with UWC people was SO MUCH FUN. We all got along really well, were responsible and flexible, and, quite honestly, I'm extremely proud of us. This was the first trip any of us had taken without any adult supervision and we managed to make it through without losing anyone, without anyone getting hurt, without anything being stolen or lost, without arguments, and we even got back to school all by ourselves. And besides, how many high school students have the chance to spend Thanksgiving with friends from Turkey, the UK (x2), and Singapore in the middle of New Mexico. Not many.
I'm so thankful that the trip went so well, that I could be surrounded by so many good friends, and that I still have a year and a half to have more experiences like this.
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