The holiday season is fast approaching, and seemingly one of the more memorable holidays for college students is Parents’ and Family weekend. While it’s not an official holiday by any means, nor even a bank holiday (though the local utilities did take off Thursday for Veterans Day), the “gifts” of food and the good company fit in well with the big time players, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas.
For most freshmen, Parents’ Weekend signifies a chance to escape the Slate for a meal or two, whether it’s on their own parents’ tab or maybe those of their friends. “I hear the food is the best during times when our parents are here. Ironically we don’t get to enjoy it. It’s quite a paradox,” explained one freshman leaving the Slate. It may never be known whether the stories are true, or if they are simply tales planted by students feeling abandoned. One thing for sure, is that the rumors have scarcely changed in at least three years.
Much like open houses from grade school, parents weekend allows the eager young minds at Mines to hold their parents’ hands and show them around their lovely school. In some rare cases, the bright young engineers on campus may have homework worthy of hanging on the fridge back home. In most cases, however, the test scores in this lovely program are hardly fit for the paper shredder, let alone prime real estate in the kitchen. When this is the case, it is much better to shuffle the parents to the various activities around campus designed to take their minds off of where their money is being spent.
For easy parental distractions, the Oredigger football team always puts on a Saturday show. Additionally, by moving Parents’ Weekend almost a full month later in the year, the basketball and swimming teams offered up entertainment for athletic tastes of all types.
As students pass their years away at Mines and begin heading away from campus housing, there is no reason to stop guilting parents into visiting. Though it is less common for older students to still celebrate the holiday, those that do are as emphatic about its importance as ever. “I love parents weekend! My mom cleans my apartment and does my laundry!” explained one appreciative sophomore, while another offered his thanks, “My parents and I never agree on anything and we fight about politics at the table. But since I’ve moved away, they’ve missed me so much that they never say anything anymore. They even take me out for steak every time they come. Hell, I have trouble paying for Ramen!”
As graduation looms ever closer for students of all majors, do not pass the opportunities to entice your parents to visit. It does not matter if you have shown them the library six times, or pointed out every sample of quartz twelve times in the geology museum, parents inexplicably keep coming back for more. Their ability to buy batteries for your Wii-motes, feed you, take you shopping, and – for those living in houses – fix things, should never be underestimated. You might have to take a shower to convince them to be seen in public with you, but it is worth it, knowing that the next time you might get to eat again is Thanksgiving.
So, if you missed it this year, do not make that mistake again in 2011. You have got nothing to lose and a lot to eat. Call your parents, tell them you love them, and do not starve even one more day.
“We love you mom and dad! Please come back! You can only cook ramen noodles so many different ways!”