“Different Plans”


I was talking to a friend whose son is coming home for Thanksgiving after his first year away at college. Naturally, she has expectations for that time at home, involving family get-togethers. It made me remember conversations with my first year college students who returned to class after their Thanksgiving vacation.

The comments included,”Why can’t my parents understand that I am used to making my own decisions?” “Why do my parents expect me to be home at midnight as if I were still in high school?” Why do my parents expect me to spend time with the family? I want to see my friends. I haven’t seen them since the summer!” “Don’t my parents respect my decision to become a vegan? Why are they serving a dead bird?”

It was so predictable a class after Thanksgiving, that I actually looked forward to the group complaining session. At least they had a foretaste of the long Christmas vacation to come. Both students and parents had a long period of renegotiation ahead! The students had their classmates to commiserate with. The poor parents were left on their own to wonder “why am I paying tuition for this ungrateful child?”

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