Student Reflections on Parents Weekend

Note from the Editor: The Perspectives section asked students to submit reflections on Parents Weekend. Responses are published below.

Will Smith ’21

As the “tour guide” for my alumni parents this family weekend, I confess that I rushed the process a bit.  I eagerly walked ahead of my parents from the Union to the field hockey turf, and then back toward the food trucks for a snack. In my first 10 weeks here, I have been very focused on getting things done and going through the routine (often as quickly as possible).  My parents’ ambling pace while enjoying the campus and the beautiful weather this weekend gave me a window to their appreciation of Davidson: looking on the college again as alumni, they must have been transported back to their own views of Davidson as a school and as their home at one time.  With this perspective, I hope I can stroll around campus and enjoy it in the same way!

Bethany Kirkpatrick ’19

I‘ve only had my mom come to one Family Weekend, so seeing everyone’s families together on social media made me more nostalgic for Davidson than anything–she got to see the Honor Code in action that weekend because she lost her scarf and found it tied carefully around a column at DCPC by an anonymous Good Samaritan. However, being abroad has definitely made me expand my definition of “family,” as I found people from campus making the effort to keep up with me even while their families were in town. If we define the weekend as a time for students to show their family their world, I even got to be the visiting family member this year thanks to my family in Turner skyping me in. (Miss y’all.) At the same time, it’s the point in our semester when the group of us Davidson students studying in France has started to behave like a family, for better or for worse, with successes and with dysfunction. As we celebrated #familyweekend by traveling to WWII sites in Normandy together, we got to depend on each other for portable chargers and advice, and we got to laugh at and learn from each other.

I know family is a complicated question for many people–thank goodness for the families we’re given and the ones we create.

Mary Margaret Robison ’21

Being a double legacy, I had little to surprise my parents with on parents’ weekend. They consider Davidson to be more like home than the house I spent my childhood in, evident in their non-stop reminiscing while walking around campus. However, despite their proven overwhelming knowledge about all things Davidson, there were still so many new things I could show them. I shared my Davidson experience, how Davidson was my home now, and how I was creating my own name here. My parents beamed with unanticipated pride as I showed them not only my grades, but little havens I had found for myself on campus, and how comfortable I felt in my surroundings. It was liberating to demonstrate how I had molded this place into my own by being here, rather than from the identifiers my parents had left behind for me. I did not consider going to Davidson for the longest time in fear it wouldn’t be my school, rather the home of my parents’ glory years. However, for the first time, I felt as though Davidson had become a different place for them. It became a whole lot more than the place they had grown and fell in love—it was now a place their daughter unhesitatingly called “home” – a place where she felt as if she really spread her wings and fly.

Haley Seligmann ’20

When your family lives in Davidson, every weekend is parents weekend. The lineup of events over the past few days has displayed an impressive effort to engage enthusiastic parents and bored siblings, but most of the novelty is lost when you can grab lunch with your family on any given Thursday. I didn’t see my parents once this weekend; in fact, I was out of town for most of it. This seemed to surprise quite a few people. My house is 5 minutes away so what excuse do I have to not participate in parents weekend?

I guess my answer would be a simple one: this weekend wasn’t meant for me. I’m lucky enough to have a good relationship with both of my parents, and I see them pretty often. I get coffee with my dad at Summit every week, and my mom and I have made a habit of catching up over early dinners at Carburritos. An entire weekend dedicated to the reunion of families facing the challenges of long distance just doesn’t feel applicable to me. If anything, walking through a campus of reunited families has given me a newfound appreciation for having my loved ones so close, despite how stifling it can sometimes feel.