November 28, 2013

Make the most of your Thanksgiving visit!

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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