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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Make it a family weekend – with whomever you can

    This time last year, I was really excited. School sucked and I had just finished a round of exams, but my family was coming down and I was really looking forward to having them here.

    It was Family Weekend! Everyone was cleaning their rooms, hiding the beer cans and pizza boxes and trying to make it look like their significant other didn’t practically live in their room with them.

    Two days before my parents were supposed to come down, my mom called and told me that my dad had to work and my brother had a big project for school that would take all weekend. They weren’t coming. That’s OK. I understood. No biggie.

    I felt like I was back in third grade and my mom was the only mom who couldn’t come on our field trip to the zoo.

    It’s funny, everyone tells you how much you grow up down here at school and how independent you become, but they don’t tell you everything. They don’t tell you that when school gets hectic and you haven’t slept in a week, you can get really homesick and all you want is your mommy.

    As I watched my roommates’ parents play beer pong, go to the football game and go out to breakfast, lunch and dinner, I found myself pouting even more. My roommates were great and tried to include me in everything, but it just wasn’t the same.

    I felt bad calling and complaining to my mom, who already felt terrible, so I called my grandpa. I told him how I had really been looking forward to Family Weekend and just how bummed I really was.

    Without hesitation, he and my grandma announced that they would be coming down the next day. They’re just retired old farts anyway, what else did they have to do?

    The next day, without fail, they were on my doorstep with homemade cookies, smiles and eager and excited attitudes.

    I took them around campus, split burgers with my grandpa at Frog and Firkin – “”that frickin’ frackin’ place”” to my grandpa – hit up Penguins for dessert and took a ride on the trolley. I felt like that little kid again, but this time the one who has her parents by the hands and excitedly drags them all around the classroom showing them the class pet, her latest project and the reading corner.

    I immediately felt better about my parents not being able to come. Even though they were only there for a day, it was just nice to be able to share my life in lovely ol’ Tucson with people who care about me on Family Weekend.

    Now it’s a year later and I know that come Friday afternoon I will have some of my family here – though they may be a couple of old geezers instead of my parents.

    What I realized is that it doesn’t matter who you share your Family Weekend with as long as they are people who care about you. It doesn’t matter who they are as long as you have a witness or two from your other world to share the new world you’ve made here for yourself.

    So if your parents simply can’t make it, don’t sit on your couch watching your roommates have fun with their families, and do not sit at your desk and do homework. Get out and partake in the fun. Get a cousin, an aunt, an old fart grandparent or even a childhood friend who goes to ASU to come down and be with you.

    At the very least, accept the fact that it just won’t be the same and go out with your friends’ or roommates’ parents anyway.

    Cheesy? Yes, all of it. But, as grown up as we all pretend to be here in the new worlds we’ve made for ourselves, sometimes we really do just need a visit from our old ones.

    Vanessa Valenzuela is a junior majoring in international studies and economics. She can be reached at

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