Family weekend from a townie’s perspective

Liz Stephens, Columnist

Every time Family Weekend rolls around, it is just another weekend for me.

A normal weekend for me consists of working about twenty hours between two of my jobs, working on homework and relaxing in any extra spare time.

I grew up in Charleston, so I have never felt the need to celebrate Family Weekend because I see my parents all the time. It is almost suffocating living with my parents while in college, but at least I know that there is no way that I will be tempted to live with them after I graduate.

The college experience as a townie is a little different than most and in a way I am grateful for it, because it is simple and easy. I have never struggled with finding buildings on campus, I know all of the easiest ways to get where I want to go and best of all, I know exactly who to contact if I ever get in a bind.

As a townie, I never saw it necessary to drag my parents around campus because they have lived here for many years and are used to it. It did not make sense to me why I would take my parents, who have lived in Coles County since I was born, somewhere they have been a thousand times.

I have never participated in Family Weekend to be able to know what it is like, but I always enjoy seeing my friends taking their parents out to the bars and watching funny Snapchat stories where parents are at Marty’s trying to relive their sorority or fraternity days.

Sometimes we forget that our parents were young once upon a time and probably crazier than us when they were in college, or in my case it would be when my parents were in the military.

When I was in high school I thought Family Weekend was completely and utterly obnoxious.

I am surprised my eyes did not get stuck in the back of my head by rolling my eyes at all the students and their family members who were temporarily inhabiting my quiet town and making my drive a little longer.

Apparently I forgot that these inhabitants were people like me and would one day be my classmates.

I am almost happy to wake up earlier to make it to town on time during Family Weekend because it means my classmates are doing something of value by spending time with their moms, dads and siblings.

When I was younger I think I had not yet processed the importance of seeing your family since mine were so close and I was not focused on having a relationship with mine to the extent that I should have.

Seeing my classmates enjoying Family Weekend makes me consider having my family from the South come visit the next time Family Weekend comes about. I think it would be awesome to be able to show my family our campus and get to spend a little extra time with them.


Liz Stephens can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]