Navigating Thanksgiving Break: Safety and Wellness Tips for College Students

As the semester winds down, college students eagerly anticipate the much-needed Thanksgiving breakā€”a time to relax, recharge, and reconnect with family and friends. However, amidst the excitement of heading home, it’s crucial for students to prioritize their safety and wellbeing. In this blog post, we’ll explore essential safety and wellness tips tailored for those students living on campus.

  1. Travel Smart

Whether you’re flying, driving, or taking public transportation, planning your journey is key to a safe and stress-free trip. Check the weather forecast, ensure your vehicle is in good condition, and inform someone about your travel plans. If you’re flying, arrive at the airport early to avoid unnecessary stress. Utilize transportation services provided by a ride sharing service, local transit, or travel with friends when possible.

  1. Secure Your Living Space

If you’re leaving for the break period, take a few moments to secure your bedroom and suite. Ensure all doors and windows are locked. Please move all items from your residence hall floor, especially computer equipment and any items that can be damaged by flooding. Remove stale food from your refrigerator and properly dispose of it through proper trash removal.

Learn more about all closing procedures by reading the Residence Hall Thanksgiving Break Bulletin.

  1. Maintain Healthy Habits

Regardless of where you spend Thanksgiving break, prioritizing your well-being is crucial. The Thanksgiving break can be a time of indulgence, but it’s essential to maintain healthy habits. Get enough sleep, eat balanced meals, and stay hydrated. Consider packing healthy snacks for your journey home to avoid relying on convenience foods. Maintaining a balance between festive treats and nutritious choices will help you return to campus feeling refreshed. If you’re staying on campus, use this time for self-care. Take walks, try out new recipes, or engage in activities that bring you joy.

  1. Communicate Effectively

Keep your family, friends, and roommates informed about your plans. Provide them with your travel itinerary, including departure and arrival times. In case of any unexpected changes, make sure you have a reliable means of communication, such as a fully charged phone or a portable charger. Regular check-ins with loved ones can also provide peace of mind for everyone involved.

For those staying on campus, staying connected is essential. Reach out to friends, classmates, or neighbors who may also be in the area. Consider exploring nearby events or activities that foster a sense of community and connection. You can also attend the Fun Fest on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 from 2-6 p.m. in the Quad and South Village Great Room to foster connections and build a supportive community. Effective communication can be a bridge to forming meaningful relationships during the break.

  1. Be Mindful of Mental Health

Thanksgiving break can bring a mix of emotions, from excitement to stress or even homesickness. It’s important to be mindful of your mental health during this time. Take moments for self-reflection and relaxation. If you’re struggling, reach out to friends, family, or campus resources for support.

For help with a mental health crisis or emergency after Counseling Center hours, please call:

  • MU Police at 911
  • Crisis Intervention (Lancaster): 717-394-2631
  • National Suicide Hotline: 988
  • Crisis TEXT Hotline: text “HELLO” to 741741

The break can be challenging for those facing difficult home situations or spending the break alone on campus. Be gentle with yourself and recognize the importance of your mental health. Seek out virtual support groups or online communities where you can share experiences and find understanding. Surround yourself with positive influences, even if they are virtual, to create a supportive environment during this time.

6. Manage Your Time Wisely

While Thanksgiving break is a time for relaxation, it’s also an opportunity to manage your time wisely. Set aside dedicated study periods to review class materials or work on upcoming assignments. Creating a study schedule can help you balance academic responsibilities with holiday festivities, ensuring a smoother transition back to campus life. Use this time to get ahead on coursework, reducing stress as the semester comes to a close.


Thanksgiving break is a well-deserved opportunity for college students to unwind. By following these safety and wellness tips, you can make the most of your break, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in creating a Thanksgiving break filled with joy, relaxation, and peace of mind.

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