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Are Your College Students Coming Home for Thanksgiving? Here are 7 Things You Need to Know and Consider

Posted on November 18 2021

You haven't heard from your college student in days. You know he/she is busy studying for midterms. If you are lucky, you will get to see your college student in eight days for the Thanksgiving celebration. It's been three months since you dropped your college student off at college and now is your opportunity to reunite as a family and create another great Thanksgiving memory. 

However, before your family gathers together, there are some things you need to know about your college student's return home. Here are 7 unexpected behaviors you may observe when he/she arrives home and how to make the best of each situation.

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1) They may need to sleep a great deal. Your college student will be tired from studying and cramming for midterm exams. Being home with family in a friendly, familiar environment will feel pretty good to them.
It is true, teens need more sleep due to the fact that they are growing fast in all areas... physically, intellectually and emotionally. Medical research indicates that "teens who usually get too little sleep are more likely to struggle in school."
Considerations:
Try making bacon or coffee in the morning. Both can trigger feelings of wakefulness. There's nothing like the aroma of a special breakfast...it's an opportunity to connect with the family at the start of the day.
 
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2) They will want to see their friends over break 
Considerations:
Encourage your college student to invite his/her friends to your house. Your college student will be happy because they will be able to relax with friends and you will be able to briefly "catch up" with his/her friends and join in with some of the fun. 
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3) Your college student will want to eat his/her favorite foods.
Considerations:
Consider taking your college student on a trip to the grocery store with you. Not only will you be able to spend time together, but your college student will be able to select his/her favorite foods and snacks.
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4) Your college student may want to be waited on hand and foot. Try not to do everything for them. Instead...
Considerations:
Invite him/her to help you in the kitchen cooking and baking for the Thanksgiving dinner.
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5) Your college student will need space. It is not uncommon for many college students to have homework and projects due right after Thanksgiving break.
Considerations:
Provide your college student with a quiet place to study and try to keep brothers or sisters from interfering. 
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6) Your college student has informed you that he/she can not come home for Thanksgiving. They will be spending the break with their girlfriend/boyfriend or friend.
 
Considerations:
You can still provide support by first, accepting their decision and second, turning a challenging situation into a positive...you can always zoom one another and make it fun. You can also show your gratitude to the host family by sending a care package to them. Of course, we are a bit partial to this one because it is our favorite way to send love to friends or family to show we are thinking about them! A hugabox care package filled with pumpkin shaped shortbreads decorated with crystalized sugar will "kick off" the holiday in a festive way! Customized orders with only the cookies are welcome!
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7) Your college student can not come home because they have to work. They will be celebrating Thanksgiving alone.
Considerations: 
Open Table provides a list of restaurants that offer Thanksgiving dinners.  Simply type in your college student's location along with the date (November 25) and a number of restaurants, opened on Thanksgiving day, will appear. Ordering a Thanksgiving dinner "to go" or arranging to have a gift certificate available for him/her to use is a great way to celebrate the holiday.
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Lastly, Thanksgiving is a fun time of year. Understanding your college student's needs will help you maintain balance during the holiday...one that meets your college student's expectations and leaves you feeling quite satisfied that you were able to "pull it off" in the end.  Happy planning!

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