Welcome home, albeit briefly, for Thanksgiving: Make the most of your visit!
Although many college freshmen have already made a brief trip home since starting school in August, others are making the first trip home in awful weather. You may have been dragging a too-heavy suitcase crammed with books, college t-shirts and dirty laundry, and it may have been a long and weary trip. But you are looking forward to sleeping on your own bed in your own room as well as to gorging on Thanksgiving dinner and swapping college “war stories” with family and friends.
The high school with which I was affiliated for years would annually declare the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as “Alumni Return Day,” inviting college students to speak to seniors about their adjustment to college and to give advice to current applicants. The college students would often seek out some of their former teachers to ask advice and tell about their experiences. Sometimes they would boast gleefully that they had “rocked” a particular class because they remembered what they had learned in high school. Alumni Return Day was always a joyous occasion, full of hugs and tears as students who had never really understood how much their high school community had meant to them reunited ever so briefly before returning to college for final exams.
It’s wonderful to be home for a few days; it’s also confusing. Which home is home? You have just started to feel comfortable in the college environment (or uncomfortable, in some cases, and are already considering transferring). You may feel just a little odd not being surrounded by roommates and suitemates, even if you haven’t yet learned to love them very much. You slip and refer to the dorm as “home.”
But then you see your family at the Thanksgiving table, you visit with your high school friends, and you remember what you are thankful for.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, and for some of you, a happy Chanukah as well.
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I know a podiatrist who decided to become a biology teacher and an art dealer who became a rabbi. Changing careers is not unusual. Going back to school in order to pursue a new path is energizing and exciting; it takes vision and courage. Returning to college – or even going for the first time as a person of mature years -- is a challenge worth taking. And why not take the plunge after retirement? See this inspiring article about retirees who have done it!
It’s never too late to go back to school. If you are an adult who is thinking about applying to colleges or graduate school but your writing skills are a bit rusty, contact the College Essay Whiz for help on your applications!
On April 1, 2009, NYU sent an email to 489 students, congratulating them on their admission to the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. An hour later, the school sent another email, explaining that they had all actually been rejected, with regrets for “any misunderstanding, false expectations, or additional disappointment this error may have caused.” Just a few days earlier, the University of California at San Diego had sent a few too many “welcome” emails to an even larger group of applicants. Called an "administrative error," the email was sent to the entire pool of 46,000 applicants instead of the 18,000 who were admitted.
April Fool’s? Not.