By LIZZY WAINER
Traditions have been a part of the University of Mary Washington’s campus culture since its founding in 1908. A few of our school’s most prevalent traditions include the Ring Ceremony, Devil-Goat Day, Eagle Gathering and Thanksgiving dinner. The most important one, in my opinion, is Family Weekend.
UMW Family Weekend is a time for students and their families to spend time on and explore campus together. Some students are not big fans of Family Weekend because their family is far away and it is a hassle.
In addition, some students do not get along with their family when they do come. A friend of mine told me that last year that she and her younger brother fought the whole weekend and her parents lectured her the entire time. Another one of my friends is not a fan of Family Weekend because her family thinks it is a waste of time and money.
In contrast, junior Aripra Mohan said, “Bishop Loverde comes once a year and this year he is visiting the UMW Catholic Student Center during Family Weekend. I’m looking forward to it especially because it gives students that are Catholic another thing to experience with their families. Due to circumstances, my family is unable to come, but it is still joyful to see the campus so full with other families. I usually find myself assimilating into the families of my friends for the day. There are times I wish my parents could come down to UMW, but it’s nice to know that UMW is one big community and it’s good to know I have this community to spend my time with.”
The good thing about Family Weekend is that even if you do not have family around, you can still participate and be a part of the community as a whole. My friend that fought with her family last year worked out her issues and is actually very excited to spend time with her family this year.
“Although my family is unable to come due to financial issues, I’m looking forward to Family Weekend because I get to meet my friends families and I like seeing campus alive,” said sophomore Delsa Bambao.
To me, Family weekend is a time when, like Delsa and Aripra said, I get to spend time not only with my friends’ families, but also my own. It is nice after a stressful first few weeks to see your family and in a sense get refreshed for the coming weeks until Fall Break.
Also, campus and Fredericksburg as a whole really comes alive and it is truly amazing to see so many people happy and excited. There is always so much to do on campus that the weekend ends up going by so fast. I remember last year my family and I were shocked when Sunday lunchtime rolled around because that meant it was time for them to go home.
Seeing everyone’s various family sizes and ethnicities also really helps to show UMW’s growing diversity. Family weekend reminds me that it does not matter where you come from. Family will always be important, even the family you form with your fellow UMW students.