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Plan for a worry-free break

By Katie McWilliams
On November 8, 2012

Thanksgiving: the week that all UConn students look forward to going home, sleeping in a comfy bed, eating home cooked meals, leaving the text books far behind and reconnecting with high school friends. While the Thanksgiving feast, football games and lazy time are all important aspects of relaxing over the break, many students use the time to see hometown friends and relive the friendships of high school. Even if you consistently keep in touch with your friends, these can be a little, well, awkward. It can be a little difficult to formulate a plan with a large group of people, find something to do and stay within your budget. Here are some tips on how to circumvent the awkwardness and make memorable plans with your high school friends.
First thing's first, planning can be very important. If you have a large group of people to coordinate with, don't entertain the idea of including everyone. If there is something you want to do with some friends, send a general invite to the larger group and let people know that they can come if they are free. If you try and shift the date and time to accommodate everyone's schedule, you will make no progress with the plan. Second, commit to the people who you really want to see. We all think that we can pack visiting everyone into a few days, but in reality that never happens. Solidify plans with your closest friends and make sure they happen.
An essential part of this process is picking an activity that everyone will enjoy, like dinner or a movie marathon. Everybody loves to eat and watch movies, so it's a sure-fire way to guarantee most of your pals will make the effort to come out. With this in mind, another important consideration is the budget. Most college students do not have a surplus budget, so it's a good idea to keep plans simple and cheap. For a Thanksgiving theme, I would suggest hosting a pot-luck-style Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Each friend could bring a dish, or even leftovers if you're not fainthearted. Play some music, pop in a movie and relax in the company of your old friends.
Another great budget friendly idea is to take in the changing autumn scenery by taking a hike in a local nature preserve. It's usually free and it's a perfect time to catch up on life stories and college gossip while burning off that third slice of pumpkin pie.
A third idea is to get together to finish up all that Christmas shopping. Black Friday is a great opportunity to hit the sales with friends, and if homemade gifts are more your style, have a crafting party. By ordering craft supplies in bulk online and splitting the bill between a large group, it will be super affordable and really fun.
These ideas should help people navigate the tricky waters of meeting up and making plans with friends. Just remember that these events should be relaxing and fun, so don't sweat the small stuff.

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