Dates & Events

Giving Thanks

By Lucy Ewing

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest. – William Blake 

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High School Parent | College Parent

Whether it has been three months or three years since your young adult went off to college, you may hear the word “thank you” imparted a little more deeply from the heart. Students call or come home for Thanksgiving possessing real appreciation for the growth they’ve experienced on campus, as well as for the comforts and company of home.

One group recently shared this abundance of gratitude with me. Imagine them gathered around your dinner table…

up-dog-sad depressed“I’m glad that my mom actually loves emptying my suitcase out into the washing machine and folding my clothes into neat little piles while we watch TV.”

“I’m thankful for the fact that being at home is relaxing.”

“I’m grateful to have a half-hour shower in my own bathroom with a fresh towel.”

“I love to find my dog waiting outside my bedroom door in the morning and taking naps on the sofa with her.”

“I appreciate the big bowl of fruit on the kitchen island and the big jar of almonds in the cupboard.”

Family togetherness

“I realize I am really grateful for my dad’s awful jokes and my mom’s hugs.”

“I am glad to be back around little kids.”

“My family goes to a movie nearly every day I’m home, something I hardly get to do at all at school.”

“I am thankful that my home is a place where I get to be around family.”

“I appreciate the strong sense of my roots and history that I have at home. As well as you decorate your dorm room, it doesn’t have the kind of memories that your childhood room has.”


“I like being assigned recipes and dishes to make, like I’m really helping the big dinner come together.”

“I’m grateful that my mom still puts decorations up all over the house. I really look forward to those traditions.”

“I love working on a puzzle on a low table we move up to the family room, right in front of the fireplace.”

“I’m thankful for the neighborhood — the fact that I can walk around after dinner and be surrounded by so much open space instead of crowds of students.”

“Going to the grocery store is more fun than I remember, especially with all the gourmet food out for the holidays that I used to take for granted.”

academic pursuits

“I’m thankful for the communities that I am a part of in college.”

“I never had a sister, but now I feel like I have met her in my roommate.”

“I’m thankful for the intellectual stimulation, for an education that is broadening and incredible.”

“I’m grateful for my newly-gained independence.”

“I have been able to become a more complete, confident, self-aware person.”

Okay, parents, now it’s your turn. Remember to share your gratitudes before you carve the bird. I can imagine what will be your first!

“The six years my children were in college, we never spent Thanksgiving with them. With only two extra days off, and being thousands of miles away, they found warm fires elsewhere. For my son, it became a ritual to spend the long holiday weekend with his girlfriend’s family up the California coast. For my daughter, it was dinner at my sister’s house one state over. That left my husband and me scrambling to find a turkey and the trimmings. We were always grateful to celebrate with benevolent relatives in Denver (who sent us home with a little tub of empty-nester leftovers) and thrilled to hear from our kids.”

Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter and purchase the Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year for additional tips, insight, and to help your college student succeed. You may also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our Community Forum and College Parents’ Facebook group.

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