So, your pants feel a little small now, the football games have stopped playing every hour on every channel and home remains a memory of old grandparents simultaneously pinching your cheeks as if you were a three-year-old and then asking you when are you going to get married. Yeah, yeah, Thanksgiving has come and gone and all we are left with is unfinished homework and tight clothes.

Paul Wong
After being away at school for awhile, parents always seem to be nicer. <br><br>EMMA FOSDICK/Daily

For freshmen, Thanksgiving may be the first visit home from college. It is exciting to come home and it is a time to discover what things have changed and what things are really worth giving thanks.

Parents are great to see at Thanksgiving, but did anyone else notice that they seemed to FORGET that we are college students? Freshmen, new to the world of sticky-floored frats, often find themselves staying out late at parties every weekend.

At home for the holiday, some parents give curfews that make you want to retort: “But mom! I stay out until 4 a.m. every weekend at college!” This is a mistake, for parents immediately fear the worst when this is said. (I think the words “drugs” and “boys” come to mind) Try explaining that a late-night excursion to a pimps and hoes party was just another innocent night of studying and fishnet stockings.

“When I first got home, my mom would ask me where I was going when I went out, and I just said I didn”t have to tell her where I was going all year long,” said LSA freshman Libbi Butman. Giving little information to parents is a great defense tactic, but if they really must know what you are doing, tell them that you only drink virgin margaritas. (Freshman: “virgin” is another word that lives in the minds of parents, use it wisely)

Coming home for Thanksgiving is like a test to see how strong friendships are. After three months of school, it may be hard to tell your best friend, who has already gained the freshman 15, that she does not look fat when she tries to squeeze into her jeans after eating three pieces of pumpkin pie. Your friends may have changed. Perhaps you freshman understand how your friends morphed into that annoying girl from American Pie when they say things like: “One time at college” It can seem like all they want to do is talk about themselves.

Jackie Wiener, an LSA freshman expressed how her friendships were either reinforced or distanced as she said: “I found that I was most comfortable with those who I was already close with. The closeness was just enhanced. I tended to ignore the people who talked about themselves a lot.” Others were even expecting their friends to be different since the beginning of college.

“I was surprised at how much my friends were the same,” said Engineering freshman Jeff Kennedy. It has only been a few months since the freshmen arrived and not every one of them has experienced that moment when their life has been changed.

Since some friends cannot stop talking about their college experiences, it can be hard trying to get a word in the discussion. When you are actually lucky enough to be able to talk about your college life, you may have received a unfriendly response, such as “Ew! You joined (or didn”t join) a sorority! Why?” or “You actually go to all of your classes?”

Don”t be ashamed of making the most of your first semester, and if you need to lie to make it sound interesting do what you have to do.

Pretend that you are the President of a cool club on campus or tell your friends that you are having an affair with a Professor. This will beat their stories of sleeping through class or puking all night after a big party. If all else fails, you could always try the virgin margarita idea.

One of the best things about coming home for Thanksgiving is the good food. Sure, dorm food is fine if you like soggy jello and reprocessed chicken (Come on, like you”ve never wondered if tonight”s chicken stir-fry was last night”s chicken cacciatore). Thanksgiving food is the most comforting part about coming home. It does not enforce rules and it doesn”t judge you. It listens to you when you want to talk. Also, it lasts for days. You can have turkey one night and a turkey sandwich the next day for lunch. (Wait, repressed memories of reused meat are coming back to me)

Jay McLean speaks for most freshmen when he said: “I love my grandma”s home cooking.”

As college freshmen, you have really learned a lot so far. You can now spot bad food by the smell of it and you can clearly see how your friends really are (Remember, you are perfect and haven”t changed a bit). Coming home for the holiday has taught you some important lessons.

Maybe you have learned about yourself. Perhaps all you needed was your home environment to make you question all of the immoral activities you have engaged in here at college. Now you can question your true worth as a human being. And now that you have returned to school, you can go out and make up for the parties you missed.

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