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By Lauren Solski

When Thanksgiving came around Amira Hanafieh decided to take some of the stress out of her life. That didn’t mean dropping a class. It meant dropping her boyfriend.

“If you doubt your relationship, it’s better to get out of it before you leave for school and cheat on the person,” Hanafieh, a second-year psychology student at the University of Ottawa, said.

The tradition of the Turkey Dump surfaces every Thanksgiving. The return home from the first month of university leaves attached students confused and restless about their significant other at home.

Hanafieh, used the Turkey Dump to bail out of her “stressful” relationship. she waited to dump her boyfriend in person instead of over the phone a few days before Thanksgiving.

Although he was “heartbroken,” Hanafieh said the Turkey Dump worked for her, and helped make her first year a lot less tense. “You can’t eliminate stress from school, but you can take away the stress of a boyfriend.”

For Lauren MacFarlane, a first-year hospitality and tourism management student, the idea of the Turkey Dump made her laugh. “At first I didn’t realize why it happens,” she said.

MacFarlane, has been in a four-and-a-half month relationship with her boyfriend who attends St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “I think the whole Turkey Dump is something a lot of students consider. When you think about how long university is, you really have to ask yourself if it’s better to end a relationship sooner rather than later.”

MacFarlane believes that long distance relationships can cause a great deal of anxiety for first year students, especially when you move away from home. “University is stressful. Sometimes, a boyfriend or girlfriend can add to that stress.”

With stress being a main reason to Turkey Dump for those interviewed MacFarlane agrees with Hanafieh. “There was a week where he [my boyfriend] was stressing me out. Boyfriend-stress is not a stress that I need in my life right now.”

When MacFarlane had the Turkey Dump in mind, she decided to not get rid of her boyfriend. “I’m not ready to give up the security of having someone you care about at home.”

Matt Vaile, a first-year performance production student, believes that the Turkey Dump should be dumped itself. “You have to cut the ties of a relationship before you come to university.”

Vaile said that he sees why the Turkey Dump is popular with first-year students, but he doesn’t think it is the right approach to prepare for a bachelor life. “Personally, I didn’t get involved with anyone before university. I knew being in a different city and not around them would lead to a break up. I’m a smart guy; I plan ahead!”

Even though the idea of the Turkey Dump crossed MacFarlane’s mind, she knows she has done the right thing. “I have no regrets about staying together. I’m not out looking for anyone else because I’m so content with who I’m seeing. No Turkey Dump for me this Thanksgiving, only Turkey.”

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