The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

An eagle experience: a senior’s thoughts on family weekend

3 min read
By DELLA HETHCOX I have never been that student who participates in campus events. It is not that I think I am too cool for them, I have just never had much school spirit.

University Relations


I have never been that student who participates in campus events. It is not that I think I am too cool for them, I have just never had much school spirit.

However, I as I work my way through my senior year, I am already feeling nostalgic and I am trying to savor each campus activity, small and large. Movies in Monroe? I am there. Global Cafe in the Dining Hall? Yes, please. Club Carnival? Sign me up.

Previously, I never allowed my parents to come for family weekend. “It’s fine,” I assured them, “I’m okay being on my own.” But this semester, as the university started promoting family weekend, I thought that maybe it would be nice to see my parents, despite my only living 30 minutes away.

I sent my parents a casual email asking them if they would like to pop down for the day and see all that UMW offers their students and families, although I did warn them that I was likely to write about them in the school newspaper.

Saturday morning rolled around and I woke up to a buzzing phone, alerting me to a series of incoming texts from my mother: “On my way!” “Almost there!”

“Walking to your dorm!”

I ran around my room, applying mascara to my sleepy eyes and throwing on clothes. I ran downstairs and saw her. My mom, the person who cares the most about me, who has helped me figure out this college thing for the last several years.

The mom who would willingly drop everything to cheer me up, to bring me muffins or to come down for family weekend.

Even though we have only been in session for a month, this visit was perfect.

The semester is starting to become increasingly more difficult and the reassuring presence of parents all across campus makes students feel like they can indeed make it through the rough days and group projects.

Families and dogs strolled across Ball Circle and the entire campus felt more relaxed than in the first week of classes.

We ran through the schedule, highlighting interesting events such as the

Education Abroad Fair in Lee Hall and the University Center tour. But, of course, I gave my mom the unofficial tour of the UC.

Additionally, I found my favorite professor and introduced my mom to him.

For, how often is it that you can introduce two of the most influential people in your life to each other?

She was impressed with both the new center and my professor. My mission was achieved. Now my parents could feel safe in the knowledge that their money had been well spent on my education.

We even headed downtown on the free trolley and ducked into the shops along Caroline Street, after eating at La Petite Auberge on William Street. Our final stops were at Hyperion and the Pennsylvania Dutch Tea and Candy Company, a must for any out-of-town visitors.

Although I was never much into school pride, events like this remind me of how connected my family is to my education. Without the financial and emotional support of my parents, my academic career would have been incredibly different.

Family Weekend is a reminder that your academic achievements are made possible by a myriad of people, your family, your friends and your faculty.

I may not have an excess of school pride, but I do have an appreciation for my family, the UMW student body and the warm Fredericksburg community.

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