If you are a college freshmen returning home for your first Thanksgiving Holiday, here are five tips (you can share them with your parent(s) also):
1. Talk about expectations for family togetherness—are you and your family expecting that you will behave as you did when you were still in high school even though for the past three months you have been a "free man in Paris, unfettered and alive?" (Joni Mitchell line, not mine). Find out what the plans are before you arrive—are you expected to be home for the Thursday dinner? What about other dinners? Are you still going to visit a grandparent, help serve lunch at a soup kithcen, play touch football, etc.?
2. Talk about rules in advance—what time is it okay to come and go? You are accustomed to being awake at 2 in the morning in your dorm and sleeping until your first class at noon—will that sleep schedule work at home? Are you expected to clean up as you have in the past? Are there new rules now that you are older?
3. Presenting who you are now - you are going to be asked a lot of questions about college. You have changed and may be dressing differently, shaving less or more, growing thinner or heavier. People WILL comment on your appearance if it is different (and even if it is not different). Anticipate the comments and the questions. If you are struggling, have a ready answer at hand so these encounters are not uncomfortable.