As an incoming freshman next year, I was looking for some advice from current students at NU. Since I want to book airplane tickets early, I was wondering for Thanksgiving weekend if most students leave the day right before Thanksgiving or if they leave earlier in the week. Thanks!
My S will be a junior and he's always had classes "scheduled" for Wednesday. Somehow, they mostly end up being canceled. For the first two years we booked him coming home on Wednesday. However, we are now convinced that "Professors are people, too." They have families and need to prep for Thanksgiving. For this coming year, my S has a class scheduled on the Wednesday before T-giving from 2-3:20 p.m. I will bet that it will be canceled so we have already booked his non-refundable flight for Tuesday afternoon.
There is an airport shuttle service run by NU students and the shuttle runs constantly on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving if that gives you an idea. As a freshman, if you're more comfortable waiting for your schedule and to see your syllabi, you'll have to wait and pay more for your tickets. But chances are, especially if you have an afternoon class on Wednesday, it's going to be cancelled.
This reminds me of the spring quarter that just finished; some students (theatre, journalism, music) seem to finish and get out earlier than the STEM students - ours had to stay through Friday and depart Saturday -- don't assume you can get out early all the time.
W/regards to Thanksgiving, I know some students had a major exam that finished 6PM Wed. this past school yr -- my student was getting messaged from friends as they emerged from it -- perhaps Orgo or similar?! (yes, the day before Thanksgiving) -- and my student has never come home (distance an issue, and some students have commitments over Thanksgiving as mine did, not only athletes, btw)
There are lots of things to do in Chicago over Thanksgiving - we actually traveled THERE to visit with our student and do a lot of things like Daley Plaza Christmas Market, which is wonderful - the campus itself won't be super exciting if you decide to stay the 4 days.
I encourage you to get out in Chicago, it's great for college students and their families - I don't consider it a hardship to visit there!
lateparty-just to correction an impression you maybe giving. My student is a theatre major and had his last Spring quarter exam on Friday from 3-5 p.m. I told him not to let the door hit him in the @@@ on the way out since he would be the last one finished! Theatre, journalism and music students also must take many courses in other disciplines, especially through Weinberg A&S.
Freshman year I booked a Wednesday evening flight for my son - he was one of a handful of students who showed up for the Wednesday afternoon class which the professor then cancelled. Each year after that, he booked Tuesday pm flights home. For Weinberg students, sometimes reading week starts immediately after Thanksgiving - when this happened, he booked flights back to Northwestern on Monday, to avoid the craziness of flying Sunday.
My daughter had a class that the teacher expected them all to be there the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and all but one was there. Oh, and it was their acting class. There's no way to know, I always have her ask the first week of classes and then I book.
FWIW, son just completed freshman year. Wednesday afternoon classes held as scheduled for him. He was able to take the NU- sponsored shuttle to O'Hare for a 9 PM flight home on Wednesday evening.
As previously mentioned, he returned to NU on Monday due to reading week. I'm not sure how the dates match up this coming year - I thought everything was pushed back a week due to late September start. The Monday after Thanksgiving may not be the start of reading week this year.
@momof3sons, we know some Theatre (School of Comm) and Bienen students who went away and came back just when ours was finishing up or just thereafter! - as some have apartments and summer commitments there. Ours rushed home briefly and flew back for the summer with little rest. Still, each situation is, of course, individual.
BTW I am pretty sure the distros for Weinberg students are more diverse than distros IN Weinberg that a Bienen student needs to take care of. For example, the freshman seminars for Weinberg students as opposed to how Bienen students handle their freshman year.
We may all be speaking of several things at once: Thanksgiving, reading week, end of a particular quarter (when I say end of spring quarter above, parents need to realize this means the end of the school year)...
In our experience, when our student has been able to come home or do a alternative spring break volunteer trip, our student has had to return in accordance of when dorms re-open - 10AM Sunday when school starts Monday AM, so in our student's case that means getting in no earlier than 3PM; if someone flies back early to beat the airport rush, be sure s/he has a friend in an apartment to stay with or some such arrangement. Students we know at other universities seem to get into university housing a day earlier (which I prefer, because then one has time to get with the time zone change, can purchase books, get up to speed before off to the races again, as is the case with the rush-rush quarter system).