Flashing cameras, lost parents, the campus has been taken over. It could only mean one thing, Parents’ Weekend. Last weekend was Parents’ Weekend…Wait, backtrack. For me, home is only a few hours away from Yale. That usually makes for two types of students: the one that never calls home, and the one that visits home almost every weekend. I tend to be the former. There’s just so much to do on campus that my parents are lucky to hear from me once a week. On the other hand, there are students who call home every day, twice a day. A friend of mine, for example, usually calls home every day but had a problem with their phone last week and hadn’t called home in a few days. One morning they were taking a shower and heard a loud knock on the bathroom door. His parents had called the school! Embarrassing. In my opinion, you have to wean your parents early, nobody likes the super emotional attached parents. Ok, I might seem cynical, but the truth is, I’m a softie. I had spent the summer on campus taking Physics and doing research and spent Spring Break in the Dominican Republic for a service trip so I hadn’t been home in a while. I had tons to keep me busy but I always missed Mom’s home cooked meals. I was really looking forward to seeing them. It was all I talked about for weeks!
Friday rolled around and my parents were on the road. The drive from Philadelphia to New Haven isn’t too bad, about three hours of scenery that gets progressively more beautiful each exit on the highway. The trees in the fall are breathtaking and the colonial feel of New England makes things that much more picturesque. I saw my car outside of the window as my parents and my three year-old sister arrived. Filled with excitement I ran down the steps to meet them. My little sister had grown so much! She gave me a big hug and suddenly all of the feelings and excitement of home came rushing back. That night I took my family out to dinner at a nearby Hibachi restaurant. The chef was hilarious! My dad caught shrimp in his mouth! I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt. I felt like a kid again. That night, when my family went back to the hotel, all I could think of was seeing them again the next morning.
Saturday morning I woke up earlier than I do for class. I called my dad and had breakfast with him in my Residential College. He never really understood the Residential College thing but when he saw it, he had the same embarrassing reaction as everyone else, “Its like Harry Potter!”. Parents’ Weekend is filled with activities and tours where you can show your parents what makes you love Yale so much. Neither of my parents attended a large university so it was great to be able to give them a taste of Yale’s campus. I knew exactly what I wanted to take them to. Yale has great student performance groups and for Parents’ Weekend, all of them perform. I’m talking acapella, improv comedy, classical music, everything! Some of my favorites are Rhythmic Blue (Yale’s Hip-Hop Dance Team), Steppin’ Out (Yale’s Step Team), and Bhangra (Yale’s Jashan Bhangra Team). By a stroke of luck, all three had decided to have a combined performance for Parents’ Weekend. It was amazing! My parents loved it and my little sister who loves to dance was mimicking their moves for the rest of the night. From there we ventured to a new frozen yogurt place on campus. I had tried it a few weeks ago and my first reaction was “My dad would love this!.” I lingered anxiously by him as he tried his first bite. I could see his eyes light up! “Mart,” he said, “They have to get this back home!” Success! Everything was going perfectly, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I spent the night in my parents’ hotel, falling asleep to a movie and a game of monopoly. My cheeks hurt. I felt like a kid again.
The sun rose Sunday morning and I rose with it. It was the last day and I was sad to see them leave. We went and had some delicious homemade food at a breakfast hosted by the Dominican Student Association at the Latino Cultural Center and got to meet all of the other parents of the members of the group. After, we spent the day in the Yale Bookstore buying things so my parents could remember the trip. As they left they said, “We’re really proud of you, Marty. We’re so glad we came.” It was the perfect ending to an amazing weekend. I guess the point of the story is, you can always miss home, whether you’re an hour away, or fifteen hours away. Sure, Sunday was hectic as I scrambled to finish all the work I put off to spend time with my parents and I might have missed out on a few parties, but it was more than worth it. Your time at college can be busy and there’s always so many fun things to do that you might get caught up, but Parents’ Weekend is a great time to relax from all the excitement and spend time with the people you love most.