My parents and I have established a system that (sort of) ameliorates the management of storage and dorm life. I leave most of my “winter clothes”–snow boots, heavy coats, long-sleeved shirts, etc.–at home when I come to school, and then they bring up my suitcase after fall break once it’s cold enough to need my winter stuff. I then exchange these things for sandals, shorts, and other “summer clothes.” The prospect of having all of my favorite sweaters–I mean, the thought of getting to see my wonderful parents and my lovely grandparents–really had me looking forward to Family Weekend.
Family Weekend can seem stressful from a distance–trying to integrate your parents and grandparents into your college life seems bizarre and mildly undesirable. What if they don’t like my friends? What about all of my homework? Will they just sit in my room? Should they come to class with me? What if they meet my friends’ families and then everything explodes and we all die? But Bryn Mawr does a great job of providing the visiting families with a variety of things to keep them interested.
When my parents arrived, they helped me bring some things up to my room and then took me out to lunch. They went into the city to pick my grandparents up while I was at class–luckily, none of them were particularly interested in hanging around for my 300-level anthropology of globalization course. I met up with them after class ended at Canaday for a reception with President Cassidy, where my dean recognized my parents and came over to talk with us about my studies. My parents also got to explore the Trisha Brown: (Re)Framing Collection in the rare book room, where my grandfather recognized an old book from his days as a college professor, and chat it up with President Cassidy herself. My friend’s parents, who had kindly taken me out to dinner the night before, befriended my family and we all enjoyed a delicious dinner in Erdman together. I took my grandparents to see my dorm and meet my roommates before they all went back to the hotel for the night.
On Saturday, my grandparents went into Philadelphia to see the Barnes Foundation, a special trip for my grandmother’s birthday. My parents went to a LILAC session on internships, externships, and Praxis while I caught up on some homework (and some sleep). They then saw President Cassidy’s talk about the “life cycle” of a Bryn Mawr student, which they could not stop raving about. I was actually jealous that I hadn’t made it over–I’d been a bit confused by the schedule and thought her talk was in the afternoon! We went to New Dorm dining hall for brunch, where they met most of my friends and got to enjoy the beautiful courtyard. My dad had to go home to bring my sister to a soccer game, so we took a bunch of pictures outside of Thomas before saying goodbye. My mom went to Dean Balthazar’s panel about choosing a major as I performed the seasonal suitcase switch. I met up with her afterwards for another LILAC panel about the Leadership Assessment Center–although, awkwardly, it turned out students apparently weren’t welcome for that one, because the LAC relies on participants not knowing what they’re in for. So we left to check out the bookstore and decide on a place for dinner. After my mom picked my grandparents up from the SEPTA stop, we all went out to Bertucci’s followed by ice cream at Hope’s Cookies. I said goodbye to my grandparents and went to hang out with my friends whose parents weren’t on campus either.
Sunday morning, my mom and I decided to pass on the brunch at Wyndham (though my friend brought me a few tasty danishes) so that she’d be able to make better time getting home. After loading the suitcase into the trunk, we laughed about all the people my family had been able to meet and how much my grandparents had loved visiting the campus. All of my worries about the weekend had been totally unfounded: my parents had a great time, I was able to get work done, and nobody exploded or died. Of course I miss having my parents around, but when I’m home, I also miss Bryn Mawr. I love that they get to come and learn more about the school every year–because they love it here almost as much as I do.