Family Weekend was held on Oct. 27-29. This was a time where family members had the opportunity to reunite with their children and get to experience Muhlenberg through the perspective of a student. However, while this time can be special for some people, it can be a dreaded time for others. In order to make up for the lack of family time, some students were able to find a sense of community through their friends and through various activities going on throughout campus.
International student Fuka Aizawa ‘26 stated that “Over the weekend I participated in the Research Poster Presentation. My research is about ticks in Pennsylvania with Dr. Edwards. ISA [International Students Association] and OISS [Office of International Students Support] usually do a gathering where people can talk and chill, but that’s during the start of a short break. But for Family Weekends we don’t do that, so usually I spend time with friends or study or something like that. I never really felt left out though, I was so busy and tired with studying and sometimes I spent time with my friends’ families. For every short break, it’s really empty, and I usually do things together with others who don’t have families around, but for family weekends, that doesn’t really exist.”
Another international student, Sinhayana Srinivasan ‘26, said, “I just hung out with my friends, it is pretty lonely on parents weekend but I think having my friends with me and just hanging out with them made it better. We went out to eat and did homework together and even though that sounds simple it meant a lot to me!”
Maya Brooks ‘24 voiced, “As someone who lives in Maine, my family has only come to parents weekend once when I was a sophomore. I won’t lie, I feel a little homesick during the weekend when I see all my friends with their parents and pets visiting them on campus, especially when various organizations I am in have ‘bring your parents’ events. Now that I am 21, I would love to be able to go out with my other senior friends and their parents. I find a lot of community in my sorority during family weekend. Not all of our parents come to campus so we get to spend a little extra time together. I also am able to find community with my roommates, and I was included in all the festivities with their parents.”
From the perspective of another student, Esther Klinger ‘25 stated, “Sometimes it’s discouraging when you see your friends’ families visit and you feel like you’re the only one missing out on the experience. However, for me, it’s important to remember that just because my family can’t visit, doesn’t mean that they don’t care about me or don’t want to see me; it’s simply not feasible for them to drive out to Pennsylvania as often because they live so far away. The families of my friends have been so sweet and have taken me under their wing during events my parents are unable to come to– for example, during move-in, one of my roommates’ families took me out to lunch. Additionally, plenty of other people have families that don’t visit during family weekend, so I find community in my friendships with them.”
Family Weekend can be a different experience for everyone, but ultimately the goal is to find connections with people and spend time with loved ones, which doesn’t necessarily have to be family. Sometimes a familial bond can be formed with friends.