Dean College

  • President's Blog: A Parent at Parents’ Weekend?!?

    Presidents OfficeThis was an all-time first for us – attending a Parents’ Weekend (or Family Weekend) as a parent. I’ve been to many of these (over 40 counting mine as a student and then the rest as a host) and this was the first as a parent. “Don’t come as President” was the word from our son.

    Our first decision was to treat it as 'Family Weekend.' So, we brought Grandma and my sister, the Aunt, and left Patton at home with a Dean alum as the dog sitter. It’s one of the best parts of getting to know students when they join us as one of the family.  We left after lunch on Friday and arrived in time for a late dinner.

    Except for Skype, we hadn’t seen our son since dropping him off in August. We were relieved that he looked great! He had not succumbed to the “Freshmen 15,” actually he had lost weight and was as handsome as ever, or more.

    We checked in for the weekend at the Campus Center (yikes...names not on the list…no big deal…entertained the students activities staff with our parent humor and our son’s comment was…"wouldn’t happen at Dean Mom!!"). From there he and his Aunt walked back to his room so she could have the first look at his new digs. I think a mother’s blood pressure always rises when she sees her son’s dorm room and mine was no different, but my sister’s was off the chart…she’s not used to seeing dorm rooms at their “lived in” best. He assured me that what I thought was pretty messy was actually “cleaned up because I knew you were coming.” And, he knew where everything was. Needless to say, we ushered everyone out and it was a good thing Grandma had stayed in the car.  

    We got back into the car, checked in at the hotel, and went out to eat. We had found out about a burger place from friends and we all had a chance to see a local restaurant away from campus and downtown and got a feel for the community. It was his favorite meal and we had a great time. We had a chance to catch up, hear more than what we heard on the phone, and just enjoyed being together, again.

    Later, we took him back to the residence hall and his friends all came out to meet us. I have to admit that this was the best part of the weekend. We want him to do well academically, no doubt. We also want him to have a good group of friends – peers he can be welcomed by, feel a part of, support and be supported by, and they were very funny as a group. And now, we realized he had it! His friends were great and we enjoyed our time with them and got to see how comfortable he was with his new community.

    Saturday was full of college events. We met for breakfast, then went to a reception in his School where we met faculty and learned about internship opportunities from his Dean. He is already planning how to take advantage of these, including the living away semester. He is growing. We were counting how much more it was going to cost us but glad to make it happen given how excited he was about the opportunities to choose from as a sophomore.

    The football game was fun, if not cold and Grandma was thrilled at getting to see her Grandson work the scoreboard.  We left the game to get ready for the evening’s reception and to spend sometime resting…these parent activities are exhausting! As the evening wore on we enjoyed a wonderful meal where we got the chance to be a family with everyone at the table together. A true Family Weekend!

    Sunday started with breakfast and then it was time to hit the road and get home to Patton and do the groceries. We stopped at a local farmstand and got our Halloween pumpkin and enjoyed a beautiful ride listening to the Patriot’s game and a home team win.

    Thankfully, we had a safe trip but we are most grateful for a fantastic weekend. It had been a long eight weeks since we had seen each other and it was wonderful to sit and catch up, see how much he has grown, and just be with each other as a family.

    An experience like this really makes me think – we should call this “Family Weekend” as we do here at Dean!

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