I had one goal when I chose Colgate and that was to get as far away from home as possible. Considering I originate from Seattle, Washington, I did a pretty good job. The thing is, though, living so far away from home has its drawbacks. This past weekend was Family Weekend and, sadly, Cindy and Russell Hazzard were not able to come up to Colgate and spend time with their oldest son. I’m not going to lie, I was a little sad I didn’t get to see them this weekend. I even got a little nostalgic. I started wondering what all the people I knew in high school were doing and even had an extremely strong urge to call my best friend just to say hi. However, despite being just a wee bit homesick, I had possibly one of the best weekends at Colgate. Not because it was Halloween. I mean, that was fun, but I wouldn’t say that’s what made my weekend. The best part was that I got to see a different side to my friends’ lives and build friendships in the simplest way possible: hanging out with parents.
While living away from home definitely has its drawbacks, it has some serious benefits. First off, it lets me play the role of the hungry college student. Seriously, there is nothing better than other peoples’ families feeding you. The best part is, you can learn a lot about someone by talking to the people that raised them. I went out for dinner with the families of two of my friends, and it was interesting. It’s weird to see where people get their mannerisms and attitudes. My friends are mixtures of their parents, and it’s not just their looks. It explains so much about who they are and really strengthens your relationship with them. Think about it. You begin to understand your friend’s home life, where their values and ideals came from. It’s like understanding them on a completely different level that is almost impossible to replicate. Then there is the parents’ reaction to you.
I also got the chance to sit with another one of my friend’s family for Bill Clinton. Once again, I got a chance to talk to them and learn about them and my friend on a level that I normally wouldn’t get to experience. But it was interesting to see how they felt about me. It’s no secret that our parents’ opinions affect us in some way, and that can definitely be said about our friendships. Just the fact that I went out of my way to talk to my friend’s parents bolstered our relationship because of the level of respect and interest that I showed. It’s easy to do this at home but it means so much more in college. When we get that rare chance to meet someone’s parents it can have a major effect on how we’re perceived. I’m just glad it went so well.
There’s a lot we can learn from our friends’ parents. It’s definitely intimidating at first but definitely worth it in the long run. If we truly want to be friends with people in college, it’s essential that we at least try to meet their parents. It’s ultimately beneficial in the long run. Sure, it’s awkward. It’s probably easier for me because I get more opportunities. But if there were one thing I could recommend to anyone on this campus, it would be to at least make an effort to meet you friends’ parents. I doubt you will regret it.