by Rebecca Dance
This is my senior year at Roanoke College. I have seen two Family Weekends (one was canceled because of the plague), and the one this weekend will be my last. I have never had family come down to visit for any weekend, much less the one specifically designated as “for family”. This is not a problem; in fact, it’s kind of to be expected. I’m from Massachusetts, so to come for Family Weekend is a twenty-four hour round trip and stay in the Roanoke area for less than that. It’s a difficult schedule. I did a trip like that when I visited the college in high school, and I absolutely understand why my parents did not want to make that trip.
Family Weekend as a concept is delightful: your family comes down to spend time with you, you get to show them all around campus, and they get to meet all of your friends. The downside is that they come just as you’ve stopped feeling homesick and you’re going home in two weeks anyways for Fall Break.
So I’ve just never had anyone come for Family Weekend. This doesn’t bother me – I talk to my parents on the phone frequently and send them pictures and updates about what I’m doing and I get the same back from them. I don’t go home for Thanksgiving for the same reason – it’s a long drive and I would have to get back to school. I feel like the trade-off works well because I always come home for Christmas.
However, it’s always kind of strange to be here and have nobody to hang out with because their parents are here. It’s not that I don’t like other people’s parents, it’s just more that I don’t understand the big hullabaloo of Family Weekend. For me, it’s just like any weekend, except there are way more people on campus than usual.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Very shortly after writing this, I spoke to my dad on the phone and told him I was spending the weekend with other people’s families. That evening, my mom texted me and told me they might be coming down for Family Weekend. My last Family Weekend might be the first I get to experience with my family. Stay tuned – they may decide the drive is too long.