This weekend is Saint Louis University’s homecoming, a weekend replete with activities for alumni to enjoy. Saturday’s activities include a golf cart parade, tailgating and a soccer match against Central Arkansas.
This coming weekend is also Family Weekend, where parents of current SLU students have the opportunity to visit their Billiken children and, according to the SLU website, “experience a bit of their life at SLU.” To most students, Family Weekend is a well-deserved break from the grind that is college life. To be able to catch up with the family over dinner (that the parents are graciously paying for) is a wonderful respite. As Parents and families flood the campus each and every year, the meaning of this weekend changes year by year for SLU students.
For SLU’s newest Billikens, their time on campus is likely the longest they have been away from home. Homesickness may already be hitting some freshmen and women pretty hard, and some extra time with their families may just help them get through the rest of their first hectic semester.
The first semester of college is a whirling dervish of events, classes, parties and homework; this is the most exciting and draining part of their lives so far, and sometimes the world must slow down. Family Weekend allows just that, where a simple conversation with a parent or sibling can have a profound result in their lives at SLU.
While some may just want to return to their normal lives at SLU, seeing Family Weekend as an unnecessary break, Family Weekend is still almost universally cherished by SLU freshmen.
For seniors, Family Weekend can still provide a nice time to refresh the batteries and spend quality time with their loved ones, but there is a definite change in what it means. By their senior year, students are beginning to understand that the lives they have been living for the past few years are about to end, as they join the work force, go to graduate school or begin to serve communities here or abroad. They also begin to realize that they may be soon starting their own families. Regardless, their lives are about to drastically change. This last Family Weekend is not only a time to reminisce about past Family Weekends or their lives at home, but to reflect on their entire time at SLU.
Seniors also begin to look at the role their parents have played and how much that has changed over the years. For the past few years, their families have played a lesser role in their lives. Seniors learned to live on their own more or less and take care of themselves. So during this last Family Weekend, they will savor the memories of their families and SLU.
So when your family visits this weekend, whether you are freshman or senior, make sure you thank them for their role in getting you to this wonderful university and cherish the time you have with them and the experiences you have at SLU.