Last August, my mother dropped me off in front of Swing Space and bade me goodbye with the parting sentiment, “See you back here at graduation.” I suppose living in Beijing justifies her last words, and alas this orphaned Annie is not expecting any doting parents this weekend, nor at any point before May 2006. Yeah, it’s a hard-knock life — if your parents want to adopt me for the weekend, let me know. I don’t have freckles and a red ‘fro, but I can pass as cute.
On the plus side, I won’t have to spend my Friday afternoon making my suite suitable for parental inspection. Yes, all those cans and bottles you have so proudly collected will really have to go — and no, shoving them all under your bed probably won’t do. Or maybe it will. James Rubin ’06 said his parents found his alcohol last year and bought him more.
And will there really be any space under there — what, with your Barbra Streisand CDs, lifetime supply of Durex (sure, you’re a community health educator), or, oops, new boyfriend? Gentlemen, if you haven’t already told your parents, you might have better luck stuffing all that back in the closet.
For many freshmen, this weekend marks the first reunion with their parents since fleeing the nest. Proud parents will flock to campus to see their progeny play, sing, dance and be the best darn Yalies $38,000 can buy. Other freshmen will seize the opportunity to “borrow” their parents’ credit cards.
On top of going to see a John Sayles movie, an a cappella performance, Much Ado About Nothing and the freshman invocation speech, Helena Herring ’07 said she and her family plan to shop for winter clothes and a couch.
“I just want to see my mama and sister — oh, and get new clothes,” Herring said.
Yet amidst all the pomp and circumstance, some freshmen and their parents aren’t expecting much more than quality time together. In fact, Anastasia Eccles ’07 said her parents came a weekend earlier and took her to Vermont to avoid the Parents’ Weekend onslaught.
“My parents and I were hoping to be able to spend some time together away from the craziness that is college life,” Eccles said.
But parents of the class of ’07 aren’t the only ones who will be migrating to New Haven this weekend. David Kim ’04 said his parents have been coming to Yale Parents’ Weekends since his brother was a freshman at Yale in 1996. Seasoned veterans of Parents’ Weekend, Kim’s family usually spends a low-key weekend together, relaxing in his common room or going out to eat, he said.
For Kate Kokontis ’04, past Parents’ Weekends have always more or less centered around food, which is “glorious” as far as she is concerned. But sadly, Kokontis’ parents will not be coming up this weekend.
“Freshman year, it seemed like a long time between when I left for school and the second weekend in October, and I had something going on that weekend that was important to me,” she said. “As time has gone by, it seems a little less dire to see them so frequently.”
For some senior parents, this Parents’ Weekend carries with it the sentimentality of being the last.
“My dad especially is looking forward to getting a last fix of the school before I graduate. I think they will both be very sad about not having me here another year to visit,” Megan Forney ’04 said.
Because it is their last Yale Parents’ Weekend, Forney’s parents are planning to attend more on-campus events.
“I’m nostalgic about leaving here already and know I’m going to miss it. I feel as though I might be just as much, if not more, reflective about being a senior here than my parents are about knowing this will be their last Parents’ Weekend visit,” Forney said.
Whether this is your first or your last Parents’ Weekend, and whether you foresee an event-packed or relaxed visit, have a happy one. And for those of you who are parentless this weekend, my friends, you are not alone. As my suitemates frantically clean and prep, I shall don my red curls, stick out my chin, grin, and sing, “The sun will come out tomorrow — even if you don’t.”