Johnson students participate in Friendsgiving traditions leading up to Thanksgiving

KNOXVILLE – Johnson University students participate in Friendsgiving, a tradition that allows Thanksgiving celebrations with friends before heading home for the holidays.

This year, Friendsgiving had a new aspect to it. For the first time, it incorporated the Catena Joy, which included the “sponsors” of each hall. 

Sophomore Hannah Bloyd participated in Friendsgiving for the first time this year.

“It wasn’t what I expected,” Bloyd said. “It was better than I expected. I expected it to be something small, but there were more people there than I thought there would be. All the Catena Joy volunteers were there, and it was really cool to get to interact with them.” 

While most of Johnson’s students do not cook their own meals during their time in college, Friendsgiving is an opportunity for those with a love for cooking to share it with others.

“There was a lot more food than I thought there would be,” Bloyd said. “I would assume that students would bring just a couple random sides, but there was actually a whole Thanksgiving dinner.”

Bloyd had nothing but positive remarks to make as she considered her personal experience at the dinner.

“I don’t think there were any cons,” Bloyd said. “It was just a great time to see everybody interact, kinda de-stress from everything that goes on in the semester, see everybody you know just be a community that likes to interact with each other, and take time to enjoy a holiday, even though it’s not the actual holiday.” 

Bloyd also appreciated the “come as you are” mentality behind this event.

“There are people in their pajamas and not dressed up, so it was very informal but still a good time just to connect with everybody,” Bloyd said. “Friendsgiving was just like, you know, we’re all girls. We’re all just gonna chill and half of us aren’t even gonna have make-up on. I came out of the shower, and my hair was wet. There was no expectation with how you needed to look or feel. You could just come as you are.” 

Friendsgiving is ultimately about just that: Coming as you are. Enjoying time with those who understand the stresses of life, helping prepare a meal with friends, and connecting with people who help you do life. It is a time set aside to remember to be grateful for this incredible community where professors become friends and friends become family.  

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