If you’re anything like me, your countdown to Thanksgiving break began at the end of October, right after that second round of midterms. When the going got tough (and we both know, it got tough), you pushed yourself through knowing that your first big trip home was getting closer and closer. As a freshman, I was very curious to see how this week would go. Would it be the same with all of my hometown friends? Is my bed really as comfy as I remember it being? So many of my questions were quickly answered (yes and yes) and I was right back into the suburban groove. Believe it or not, the long-awaited few days have quickly come and gone, and back we go to the daily grind. Between stuffing my face, I was able to reflect on my week and come up with the 6 reasons why your first Thanksgiving break back home is the best/worst week ever.

1. Food, food, and more food - and no, not like the dining hall buffet

There is nothing truly like the comfort of a Thanksgiving meal - especially when all you’re used to is ramen, cereal, and the dining hall pizza. Whether that be a giant, homemade stuffed turkey or just a heated up eight pounder from HEB (@ my mom), nothing is better. However, the best part for me isn’t even the turkey - it’s the giant trays of leftovers that, if your parents are generous like mine, you get to take back to your dorm to treat yourself to throughout the next week.

2. There’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed

Even though for the last three months, your college room has become your new home, there really is nothing like snuggling up in your own bed, surrounded by the comfort of familiarity. Of course, this comfort is so much more than just your soft sheets - it’s the relief of knowing you don’t have to set an alarm for something, the warmth of your dog snuggling up next to you, and the smell of Yankee Candles and coffee when you wake up in the morning. In addition, if you’re a little too spirited like me, waking up to the glow of a Christmas tree in your room isn’t too horrible either.

3. The first time the whole squad is back together again

While, of course, the few little weekend visits with a some of your hometown besties were much needed, this was the first time that all of your friends from near and far were all back together in your hometown. I, like I’m sure many of you, was really nervous going into this week because I was constantly wondering if my friends and I just weren’t going to click anymore either because they changed, or even worse, I changed. You always hear people say “Oh yeah, high school friends are great, but it’s your college friends that will be in your wedding,” so naturally, there is this assumption that you will drift from your friends that you grew up with. However, these fears immediately disappeared as we still laughed about the same things, went to the same places, and loved getting to share stories about our new friends and crazy experiences with each other.

4. Not really a break - hello to my three tests the week we get back

Calling thanksgiving break a ‘break’ is so connotatively wrong. For most of us, we don’t get to actually come home until Tuesday night, so our seemingly long, leisurely break is actually only 4 days plus the treacherous move-back-into-college Sunday. While whether or not your break was actually consumed with homework depends on how big of a procrastinator you are, but I guarantee that this next week’s workload is not looking good for you, considering this is the last week of school before finals. I wanted nothing more than to just lay on the couch and catch up on all of my Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder that my lack of DVR and free time has stolen from me, however, all of my time was spent cramming for my calculus test on Tuesday. So much for relaxation...

5. Such a Christmas tease

I don’t know if it was because my parents went all out with the pre-Thanksgiving Christmas decorations or because this is the first semi-chilly week Texas has had this year, but all week I wanted nothing more than to cuddle up by my tree and watch The Polar Express with some hot chocolate, only to realize it’s not even December yet. While the Starbucks cups are finally red, Michael Buble’s Christmas album is on repeat, and my fuzzy Christmas socks have made multiple appearances, it can’t be Christmas season until ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas has begun. #hurry

6. Missing your college friends

Though I’m sure you could not wait to be home, I bet it took you about two days to realize how stinkin’ much you missed all of your college besties. In my opinion, college is as great as it is because it’s just like extended summer camp (plus some really tough tests) with all of your best friends. From the daily ‘hey wanna eat’ texts to the typical 5 pm ‘what are we doing tonight’ question, I think it took being apart for more than a day to realize how much you’ve come to be inseparable with this very special group of people. It’s only been three months, yet I found so many genuine people that I never want to live without - whether it’s to laugh with, to cry with, or to study with, each person that has stepped into my life since that very scary move-in day has made a lasting impact on me and my outlook on the rest of my life more than each of them could ever imagine.

Well, friends, Thanksgiving break is now over. We came, we ate, we conquered, and back we go to reunite with our people and finish out the semester strong!