The turkey dump phenomenon

There once was a boy. Let’s call him Quinn. He was smitten with a girl — let’s call her Mackenzie. Long story short, they spend a wonderful grade 12 year together, supporting each other through university application stress and extracurricular mania.

They’re happy.

After a summer of long lifeguarding days, late-night campfires and mosquito bites, they have the talk.

Not ‘that’ talk, but the university talk. You see, Quinn is headed to Queen’s and Mackenzie to McMaster. They decide to stay together: “We’ll make it work.”

After a bittersweet goodbye, they part ways. Frosh week is crazy and they fill each other in during 15-minute phone calls before passing out from exhaustion.

When things settle down, they talk about their new schools. None of the names on the other end of line are familiar though and they’re hard to keep straight.

Quinn takes the bus to Hamilton during week two, which forfeits his chance for a beers on the pier bar — which isn’t that big of a deal, except that Mack seems to not understand that he’s made a sacrifice for her.

Two weeks later, Mack buses to Kingston for homecoming. Quinn gets to purple himself and she refuses to touch him for most of the weekend, gentian being incredibly hard to get off. She seems a little annoyed about the number of events he wants to go to, but he can only extrapolate that from the “Wow, I feel like I barely saw you!” that she drops on him before leaving.

Both begin to hit midterm season and it’s hard to continue their constant text message conversation while studying. Mack’s snagging of a coveted volunteer position at the hospital in Hamilton means that she’s unreachable for several hours each day.

Quinn wins a spot on the MEDLIFE Queen’s club’s exec and is working towards fundraising to go on a volunteer trip over reading week. Mackenzie is happy for him, but also can’t believe he won’t be home for reading week.

They head home for Thanksgiving and finally admit that things just aren’t the same.

When Quinn gets back to Kingston, his (slightly) obnoxious roommate says, “Man, you got turkey dumped!” Before Quinn can punch him, he adds, “but I’m here for you,” and gives him a hug.

If this sounds familiar at all, you may have just suffered a similar fate this past Thanksgiving weekend.

It’s a tough pill to swallow when your heartbreak sounds like a cliché, but take comfort in the fact that many of your fellow Gaels have been through the same.

Take the next few weeks to reach out to the new friends you’ve made at school and try to remember that, even if they tease you about your turkey dump, your Queen’s family is always here.

Keep these tips in mind for getting through a Thanksgiving breakup, and remember that even the best laid plans can fall apart.

Talk it out

Reach out to your new friends, floormates or teammates. You’d be surprised how supportive they will be, even if it feels like you just met them. They may have even gone through similar experiences.

Keep an open mind

You’re not done with love forever, but try not to hurt anyone else with a ‘rebound relationship.’ Take your time and focus on yourself for a bit before jumping straight into another relationship.

Redirect your energy

Channel that extra time into something you enjoy. If you used to always talk at night, see if a friend wants to meet up at that time for a study session or head to the ARC for a workout.

Get help

If you’re really feeling down, talk to your don or call Health Counselling and Disability Services or the Peer Support Centre. It’s okay to feel sad, but you definitely don’t have to feel that way alone.

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