College life is a whirlwind of new experiences, independence, and personal growth. But it’s also a time when you may find yourself missing the comfort and familiarity of home. Fortunately, most colleges and universities understand this and invite families by hosting special weekends.
Family weekends provide an excellent opportunity for you to reconnect with your family, introduce them to your college life, and create lasting memories together.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to make the most out of these weekends and strengthen your family bonds.
Preparation is Key
It’s a good idea to plan before your family arrives. Discuss with your family what activities you’d like to do together during the weekend. Check your college schedule of events, as they often organize campus tours, lectures, and sports.
Ensure that everyone’s schedules align. This is crucial if your family is traveling from a different city or state.
If your college town does not have many hotel options, book accommodations well in advance to secure a comfortable place for your family to stay. Consider unique hotels, such as Winston-Salem Historic Inns for an unmatched experience filled with history and luxurious comfort—plus employees can tell you the best places to visit as a family.
Keep an eye on your college website or notifications for any last-minute changes to the weekend’s events.
Family-Friendly Campus Activities
Such weekends typically feature a range of activities and events designed to engage families. Here are some fun family weekend activities you can enjoy together:
Offering tours of the fraternity or sorority house is a great way to highlight your living rooms, communal areas, and any historical aspects of the house. Allowing your family a glimpse into your indoor life will help them better understand your living situation.
Show your family your favorite spots on campus, including your dorm, library, and playground. It helps paint a picture of your life at college.
Lectures and Workshops:
Attend lectures, panel discussions, or workshops that interest both you and your family. It’s a fantastic opportunity to introduce them to your academic interests.
Cheer for your college’s sports teams during the game. The lively atmosphere of a sporting event can be a fun bonding experience.
Visit the Local Attractions:
Explore the local area together. Depending on your college’s location, you might find museums, parks, or historical sites worth visiting.
Attend cultural performances, such as theater productions, concerts, or art exhibitions. It’s a chance for you and your family to appreciate art and culture together.
Participate in family-student social events organized by your college. These gatherings often provide a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for mingling with fellow students and their families.
Don’t overlook the on-campus dining. Share a meal at your favorite dining hall so your family has an idea about the daily meals on campus
Quality Time and Exploration
Beyond the official events, make sure to spend quality time with your family. Use this opportunity to connect, share stories, and create cherished memories.
If your college town has scenic spots or hiking trails, consider spending time outdoors together. Nature walks or picnics can be fully refreshing.
If you and your family enjoy shopping, plan a day to explore local boutiques or thrift stores. Research which areas or stores have the items you’re interested in. Take your time browsing and consider buying locally made or unique items.
Board Games and Puzzles:
Bring some board games or puzzles from home. They can be a fun way to unwind and engage in friendly competition and loads of banter.
Trip Down Memory Lane:
Share your college experiences, challenges, and achievements with your family. Encourage them to do the same by narrating stories and incidents from their lives.
Understanding the trials and sacrifices your family faced when they were of your age helps change your perspective towards your family and life as well.
Create Digital Memories:
Capture moments with photos. Whether it’s a candid shot of your family or a posed picture at a campus landmark, these photos will be cherished memories
Dining is a significant part of family weekends. Explore local restaurants and on-campus dining options with your family. Here are some dining tips:
Reserve in Advance:
If you plan to dine at popular local restaurants, make reservations to avoid long wait times.
Try Local Cuisine:
Introduce your family to local dishes and specialties. It’s a great way to explore the local culture through food. Consider Founders Restaurant as an easy choice for lunch or weekend brunch!
Open and Honest Conversations
Family weekends provide an ideal setting for meaningful conversations with your family. It’s a time to discuss your academic goals, future plans, and any concerns you might have. Here are some interesting topics to share:
Update your family on your courses, academic achievements, and goals. Discuss any challenges you’re facing.
Share your thoughts on your next major or future career. Your family’s insights and advice can be extremely helpful.
Talk about any clubs, organizations, or volunteer work you’re involved in. Share your passions and the impact they’ve had on you.
Life Outside College:
Discuss your social life, friends, and experiences beyond the classroom. Along with your academic growth, make them aware of your social growth as well. It’s a chance for your family to understand your holistic college experience.
Balancing Independence and Support
One aspect to consider during family weekends is striking a balance between showcasing your newfound independence and appreciating your family’s support. You may have grown significantly since you left for college, and it’s essential to communicate how your family can best support you.
Share how you’ve become more self-reliant, from managing your finances to handling academic responsibilities. Such skills are priorities to make important life decisions.
Express your gratitude for your family’s support and let them know how they can continue to assist you, whether it’s providing guidance, emotional support, or practical help.
If you need to discuss boundaries or specific expectations, do so respectfully and considerately. Effective communication is key to a successful college experience
Finally, don’t forget to express your appreciation for your family’s visit. Let them know how much their presence means to you and how their support and love have been instrumental in your college journey
In conclusion, family weekends are an exceptional opportunity to bridge the gap between your college life and your family. By planning, participating in campus activities, savoring local cuisine, and engaging in open and honest conversations, you can create memorable experiences and strengthen the bond with your loved ones.
Cherish these moments, as they not only provide valuable insights into your college life but also create enduring memories with those who mean the most to you.