By Mark Parent, Opinions Editor
Published in print Nov 19. 2014
This is the undisputed worst time of the year for a college student.
Professors are assigning papers, exams are right around the corner, all of your friends are stressed out and your constant procrastination is about to bite you in the ass.
Of course, right in the middle of this horrifying ordeal we get to head back home and embrace our inner glutton.
I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love Thanksgiving?
There’s football, great food, family (this one could be a negative for some people, I suppose) and time to reconnect with hometown friends.
Then again, there are certain things about Thanksgiving that I’d love to change.
Here are four of them.
1. Eating late in the day.
I used to despise eating that gigantic Thanksgiving meal at one or two o’clock in the afternoon.
I just couldn’t find any logic in eating a tiny breakfast around nine and then stuffing myself a few hours later.
But then it hit me.
It is really important to eat early in the day for one reason: leftovers.
By eating early in the afternoon you’re insatiable desire for turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and apple pie returns with a vengeance around seven.
And the great thing about Thanksgiving is you don’t feel guilty about gobbling up that second 2,000-calorie meal.
Unfortunately, some of us fall into that ugly trap of going to someone’s home for Thanksgiving who makes you wait until four or five o’clock to chow down.
This late meal makes leftovers a mere impossibility. That sucks.
2. The Cowboys game.
Let’s face it. America’s team isn’t the Cowboys.
In fact, the only thing all Americans can agree on about the Cowboys is how “talented” the cheerleading squad is.
Yet, for some odd reason, the Cowboys continue to act like their consistently mediocre seasons somehow warrant the adoration of millions and a perpetual national spotlight.
Sadly for them, most of us football fans despise those blue starred helmets and love it when they fall victim to their own inflated egos.
Now, I must admit, the Cowboys are having a pretty good year.
But it’s an aberration; the Cowboys always find a way to mess up.
They’re like a frat guy who decides to give up beer for Lent.
With that being said, I wish the NFL would discard the whole “tradition thing” and feature some other team on Thanksgiving afternoon.
It’d be much appreciated.
3. Black Friday.
Call me crazy, but shopping the day after Thanksgiving is the last thing I want to do on my holiday break.
I’m aware that it’s the first day of the Christmas season and there are tons of great sales on a variety of products.
But this rampant consumerism is merely a rouse.
Major corporations, like Macy’s, make Thanksgiving a shopping utopia that promises great deals and enjoyable experiences for the millions of wannabe bargainers obsessed with saving a buck.
Of course, all of these shopaholics conveniently forget about the unbelievable lines, waking up at four in the morning, fighting soccer moms for that cheap TV, and the entire purpose of Christmas.
Believe it or not, Christmas is about selflessness, the spirit of giving and the birth of Jesus Christ.
So it’s probably not a good thing to start the entire season off completely enamored with your own materialistic self.
After all, if you think the most exciting part of Christmas is Black Friday, then I’m pretty sure you’re missing the point.
4. Our academic calendar.
I tend to think our administrators are at least moderately competent, but then I wake up from that dream and look at the fall semester’s academic calendar.
For those of you who don’t know, once we come back from our Thanksgiving holiday we get to enjoy one more day of class.
Let me repeat: we go to class on the Monday we return from break, then hunker down for Reading Day on Tuesday.
This is madness.
About half of most students’ classes will be finished before Thanksgiving, while the other half will be helplessly hanging onto one more useless day.
The administration must know that the one extra day of Monday classes will only result in an exam review or even an early exam.
Seriously, this day is like going on a date with someone you’re not that into; it might sound kind of plausible at first, but you’re bound to regret the decision later.
Hence, it will be an utterly pointless day.
Hopefully, these four complaints will resonate with many on campus and cause some serious change.
Of course, I wouldn’t count on the academic calendar being altered because that would mean administrative competence would be present at UNCG.
And, sadly, competence and UNCG are about as cozy as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and sobriety.