I’m really nervous for family weekend. Because I live so far away, my family isn’t coming to see me. I’m scared that I’m going to feel left out during the whole weekend because my friends will be with their families. Since it’s my freshman year, I’m pretty home sick as it is and I’m afraid that seeing everyone with their families is only going to make it worse. Do you have any advice?
Dear Family-less Freshman,
You have a lot of different options for how to handle family weekend if your family isn’t coming to visit. First thing first, not everyone’s family comes to family weekend. There are countless students who are in the same position as you – in fact, I would venture to say it is a majority of students. In that case, you should make your own family for the weekend. Find a group of friends who are all in the same boat as you and join together to participate in the family weekend events – your parents don’t have to be with you for you to enjoy FOTQ and Build-A-Bear. If you really want to feel that family environment, ask one of your friends if they would mind adopting you for the weekend. Parents love to meet their kid’s friends!
If you really aren’t in the family weekend celebratory mood without your family, that’s okay too. Set up a time to video chat with your family or talk on the phone; that way you get the connection with your family that the weekend is all about. Being homesick is a totally normal feeling during freshman year so never be ashamed of feeling that way. Sometimes all you really need is your mom or dad. Besides, your parents will be thrilled that you want to take time out of your busy college-kid schedule to talk to them.
Don’t feel like you have to stay trapped on campus missing your family. Treat yourself to something off campus that will cheer you up. Go to the animal shelter and hang out with puppies and kittens if you think that will do the trick. Check out the new fro-yo place on Main Street. When it comes down to it, family weekend without your family there is just another weekend: time to relax, unwind, and try to get ahead on homework for the following week. Just enjoy your peace and quiet time to yourself!
Sue Z. Maroon