I live about 3 hours away from Walla Walla. Going home is usually no big deal for me. I can drive up, spend the weekend with my family, and not have to leave until late on Sunday night, or even early on Monday morning before my classes start up again.
However, not everyone at Whitman is as lucky as I am with being able to go home on a regular basis. A sizeable portion of the student population lives out of state. Some of them are West Coast kids, but many are still farther afield. Going home is complicated: for these students, it can require a lot more effort, planning, and money.
While it can be difficult, sometimes taking a break from school is important, and seeing family even more so. Being home allows you to clear your head and prepare for the busyness soon to come. When it comes down to it, I think that taking a break is important for any student’s sanity before plunging into the maelstrom of homework, projects, and exams that characterize finals week.
That’s why many Whitman students travel home for thanksgiving, far-removed though they may be. The students who live the very farthest away often fly. This part of the state is well-accommodated when it comes to air travel. Nearby airports in Walla Walla and Pasco are easy options, and offer flights to major airports around the West, where students can find connecting flights around the world.
Those of us who live closer drive, carpool, take a bus, or get picked up by family or friends. Due to the relatively high concentration of Whitman students around the northwest, students will frequently make parts of their journeys together. I drove first from Walla Walla to my hometown with 2 of my friends. I dropped off one of those friends (who I also went to high school with) in our hometown, before continuing up to Bellingham, in the exact opposite corner of the state with my remaining friend. I spent the weekend with other old acquaintances of mine going to college in the area.
For me, the break went by in kind of a blur. Driving all across the state to see friends and family was fun, of course, but maybe not quite as relaxing as I would have liked. Still, spending time with anything other than school on my mind allowed me to recharge, and I felt fresh and ready to get back in the swing of things at the end of break.