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Easter looks different for some students far from home

With Easter Sunday falling on March 31, students who celebrate are eager to spend time with family and get a break from Athens. However, for some students who live out of state, the holiday weekend is spent on campus. 

Easter is a Christian holiday that recognizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The holiday is celebrated differently depending on religious traditions and denominations, but it also contains an interesting non-religious history. 

Known for delivering candy in baskets on Easter morning, the Easter Bunny is one of the holiday’s common symbols. According to, “rabbits are, in many cultures, known as enthusiastic procreators, so the arrival of baby bunnies in springtime meadows became associated with birth and renewal.” There are also other historical symbols including traditional Easter foods and egg hunts. 

Ohio University is a public university, therefore no days are given off for Easter weekend. Students who wish to see their families can go home for the weekend, but for some, that is not an easy process. 

Alyssa Mealor, a junior studying retail and fashion merchandise, is from Tampa, Florida, and said despite not celebrating Easter, it is hard being away from family. 

“I’m very family-oriented (and) I’m super close with my family,” said Mealor. “I don’t even necessarily celebrate the holiday, I’m not a super religious person, but it would still be nice to be allotted that time to kind of go home and take a break and see my family again.” 

Mealor said it’s a very stressful time in the semester and having a little break for out-of-state students would be helpful. 

Lucas Salomao, a freshman studying accounting, also said his travels home to Texas are stressful and impractical. 

“I don’t really travel home back to Texas very often unless it’s planned beforehand because of how expensive it is,” said Salomao. “I don’t really want to leave on a Friday night and then I have to come back on a Saturday.” 

Salomao said the trip is around 18 hours and usually done in two days with his sister, therefore he only travels home for longer breaks including spring and winter break. 

Students who live in Ohio and are able to go home for the weekend and spend time with family are fortunate. Mealor discussed how her roommates are going home for the weekend, while she is staying in Athens. 

“It definitely kind of feels a little bit lonely,” said Mealor. “All of my roommates are going to go home for the weekend because most of them live in either Cincinnati or Columbus, so they have that availability to just kind of get to go home and spend time with their families.” 

Mealor said she plans on working throughout the weekend in order to stay busy. 

For those who are going home to celebrate the holiday, the weekend will be filled with family time and delicious Easter meals. Juliana Pepple, a junior studying psychology, is from Sandusky, and she said she is grateful that going home is not a difficult task. 

“I felt like it was such a long drive when I first moved here, but I’ve found ways to make the drive more bearable,” said Pepple. “I mean it’s also broadened my perspective of time and how long it takes to get places in terms of relationships and stuff like that.” 

Pepple said she understands why the university doesn’t give time off for Easter, but she is excited to go home, eat her mom's signature artichokes and celebrate the holiday in her new church. 

In light of not offering days off for the holiday, OU makes an effort to recognize important dates during Holy Week, including Good Friday. According to OU, the “recommended accommodations” for Good Friday state to “avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the date.” This section of the website also recognizes several other religious holidays and their accommodations.


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