Family Party Weekend?

Sara Dyer

Family weekend: hate it or love it? I know it was two weeks ago, but I have taken the opportuntiy to reflect on this timely (or untimely) three day period. On one hand, escaping from Frank is nice; getting wined and dined by your parents at the Colgate Inn or Poolville is great. On the other hand, unless your parents are up for playing beirut and taking Jaeger shots at Nichols, it can put a bit of a damper on the social aspect of the weekend. I know my dad would be up for it, but my mom is an up-at-dawn marathon runner who hasn’t drank since Thanksgiving ’98. Going out to dinner with your parents and then running down to the Jug and making bad decisions can make you feel a little guilty when you know your parents are around.

I must confess that when every family weekend rolls around, I haven’t a clue what to do with my parents. I’m never on the ball enough to buy tickets for the annual a cappella concert and, since I don’t read my email, I never really know what’s going on. Every family weekend is somewhat of a role reversal for the son or daughter; possibly for the first time, he or she feels responsible for the wellbeing and merriment of his or her parents. Apparently in the past, Colgate used to send a family weekend packet home with descriptions of what was going on and a suggestion that the parents themselves set up their family weekend. For procrastinators and space cadets like myself, I think giving the parents the opportunity to map out the weekend is probably the best bet. That way, the student doesn’t feel absolutely clueless about what is going on or obligated to construct a take-your-breath away itinerary for his or her parents.

As a Boston native, family weekend for me is always a bit anti-climactic. My amazing parents come up as often as they can for my diving meets since they’re only four and a half hours away. For families that haven’t been fortunate enough to get a look of Colgate, they finally get to experience what they’re paying (roughly) $43,000 dollars a year for. They get a nice look of the foliage, the campus and a taste of what their son or daughter is up to.

The real issue with family weekend is that it coincides with Halloween. This is, I’d say, the most popular holiday for college students, and one that most don’t want to miss out on because they’re at the Take Two movies watching V for Vendetta with the fam. Couldn’t we schedule it a week earlier or later? The thought of somehow running into my mom downtown late Saturday night when I’m dressed as a playboy bunny makes me slightly nauseous.

On the whole, family weekend’s a good time. I never thought I’d miss my parents when I was away at school, but every year I’m still eager to see them when they come up. They get to meet your friends, see your dorm/house/apartment, bring up anything you might have forgotten at home and keep you up to date with what’s going on at home. A few tweaks here and there, and it could be even better.