Home for the Holidays?

Travel time vs. turkey time, how students are managing hitting the roads

Ferris is home to a good number of students who come from other states and countries. With that being said, is four and a half days really enough for students who aren’t from Michigan for one of our nation’s major holidays?

Freshman Indiana native and Technical Communication major Tyler Jenkins doesn’t think so.

“I don’t have classes on Wednesday, but having classes until noon, I just think it’s kind of pointless to have even that Wednesday class. I have a bunch of other friends that go to bigger universities that get out the Friday before, so they have a whole week for Thanksgiving break. Being far from home, the travel is a little difficult in the middle of the week, it’s kind of hard to adapt and then come back the following Monday,” said Jenkins, who plans to spend his Thanksgiving break back in Indiana with his family and hometown friends.

Colleen Lewellyan, a first year pharmacy student who came from a suburb of Chicago, agrees that Wednesday morning class isn’t necessary.

“Having classes Wednesday morning doesn’t allow for a lot of time when traveling after classes, especially with how early it gets dark this time of year,” Lewellyan said.

However, according to Bryan Marquardt, Director of Housing and Residence Life, 2013 statistics stated that 91 percent of Ferris students lived in Michigan.

“This left 877 students who lived outside Michigan: 404 were international and 391 lived in Indiana or Illinois. This left 82 students who potentially lived more than a day’s drive home, other than international students.”

“I have attended and worked for universities for 35 plus years and Thanksgiving break has started on Wednesday or Thursday at the schools I attended and worked for during this time. The length of the break works well for most students. If students are not able to make it home due to the distance or travel time on Thanksgiving, one good point is that the holiday break starts two weeks later and is four weeks long,” Marquardt said.

On the other hand, Lewellyan said that it’s not just out of state students that need extra travel time.

“This year, I’m going home with my boyfriend for Thanksgiving,” Lewellyan said. “He’s from Hancock, in the U.P and it’s an eight hour drive from Ferris to his house, compared to the four hour drive to mine.”

For any international or non-Michigan native students who aren’t planning to travel home for Thanksgiving, or for the upcoming winter break, Marquardt said, “Housing and Residence Life offers break housing in Bond Hall for all students who choose not to leave Big Rapids for Thanksgiving or the holiday break. East Campus Suites and the FSU Apartments are also open 365 days a year.”

On-campus housing closes on Wednesday, Nov. 26 and reopen for students to return the following Sunday.