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Topic of the week: Family Weekend

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Tobey Schmidt | The Daily Wildcat

English studies senior Tatum Hammond and her mother, Colleen Hammond, go for a walk just outside campus on Monday, Oct. 10. Tatum’s mother was visiting for the day from Chandler, Arizona just before Family Weekend.

Topic of the week: Family Weekend

Think of the parents

Family Weekend is here. For some it’s a pure joy; for others, pure misery. Some of us students have come from places hundreds of miles away, while others come from Tucson itself. Family weekend can serve as a break from college for those who are feeling homesick or simply miss a familiar face. Contrarily, Family Weekend can serve as a stressful event for students who can’t see anyone from home. It’s true that some students have left home to embark on a new start for themselves and Family Weekend can potentially be a distraction from their new lives. However, let us not forget what this weekend is actually about — our parents. The reason we left doesn’t necessarily matter, but it’s the fact that every parent who loves their child dearly misses them fully.

This weekend is for whom it’s named after: the parents. Our role as students shouldn’t be to neglect their desire to see us, but to instead consider them, along with the toll that our leaving takes on them. Students should use this weekend to show off the accomplishments we have achieved at school, to make our parents proud and to help them feel secure about our life here as a Wildcat.

By Miles Schuk Ehler

Family Weekend chance to share personal development

The independence offered by attending college allows students to put their wants and needs into focus in their attempt to understand just who they are and where they want to go. College is often the first time people step out into the world on their own, through which the personal development gained is truly invaluable. But the value of staying close to your family and remaining involved in the lives of those who, for so long guided you and held your hand when the world was frightening, is also evident. Family Weekend offers students who are having difficulty transferring to their new free-form world the ability to connect with those who will support them and offer advice. Beyond that, the opportunities from the experience allow students who have made the transition well to stay close with their family and balance their desire for independence with the supportive and kindlyinfluence of their parents or extended family.

By Alec Scott

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Family Weekend apocalypse

The people who need to prepare most for family weekend are those whose families are not visiting.

Never before did I feel so much like I was trapped inside a zombie apocalypse than I did staying in my dorm over Family Weekend without plans to see my parents.

First, starting Thursday afternoon, my friends gradually started disappearing. As parents arrived, neighbors went off to show their parents Tucson. Eventually, the residence hall was empty and I felt absolutely alone.

Over time, those who were missing came back, but like zombies, they were no longer in a state of friendship. Imagine putting yourself between a homesick student and a parent longing to see his or her child — it doesn’t turn out well for the person in the middle.

Being alone, and then being constantly reminded of my family and how they were so far away was a disaster for my already-homesick freshman self. I didn’t make it through the weekend. Half way through Saturday I was on my way home to Mesa to get a hug from my mom.

So, a warning: If your parents won’t be coming to family weekend and you are still raw from your separation with them, make good plans this weekend. Spend time with friends who also don’t have their parents coming. Go see a movie. Do anything to get out of that lonely apocalyptic scene.

By Toni Marcheva

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Family Weekend means big bucks for servers

There are three things I love: more traffic, longer lines to wait in and older people wearing UA T-shirts. I’m talking about Family Weekend. It’s a wonderful event because it gives me the extra incentive to be as far away from the university as possible. Spur of the moment camping trips or a surf vacation seem much more enticing.

It’s not that I secretly get upset that my family can’t make it. I’d prefer that everyone else bring theirs because then I earn more money. Last year, I was a server at a sports bar near campus and during this particular weekend my tips almost tripled. I simply cannot argue with that.

Some students are lucky, like I was last year, when your friend’s parents adopt you as their own for the weekend, so you too get to be a part of the free sit-down meals. You can never go wrong going out to dinner with another family. Instead of being yelled at for not passing your last math exam, it’s your friend who gets to bask in the spotlight. It truly is a wonderful weekend to spend with someone else’s family.

By Sammy Minsk

Distance makes heart grow fonder this weekend

Family Weekend for most international students is nothing but a normal weekend, with the exception of everyone else’s parents walking around campus. By choosing to go study far away from home, we gave up the privilege to have our families come see us for such a short period of time. Instead, Family Weekend for us consists of, well, whatever we do on other regular weekends, since nothing really changes for us. What might be different is our friends leaving us for a couple of days to spend it with their families.

The lack of actual family presence during Family Weekend is interpreted by those concerned in different ways, depending on how they generally feel about family. For me, it doesn’t really make a huge difference at first because I think to myself, ‘I have the rest of my life to see my family.’ But then Family Weekend hits the UA and I walk around campus on my own while everyone else walks with their parents and siblings, and then I realize I miss them more than I think. Family Weekend only lasts, well, a weekend, so it wouldn’t make much sense for my parents to fly down from Hong Kong for a total of 32 hours to spend 48 hours with me. But that’s something I’m willing to give up in order to be here to study, and it makes going home for the holidays that much more special.

By Scarlett Lorin


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