Hundreds of parents and siblings, donning spirited Crimson attire, descended on Harvard Yard this weekend to visit members of the Class of 2021 during the College’s Freshman Family Weekend.
With a calendar full of family-friendly events and a selection of Snapchat filters to document the weekend, students and parents say they were happy to reunite on campus.
Emily M. Spector ’21 said she reserved the entire weekend to spend with her family, attempting to complete schoolwork in advance to prepare.
“I intend to spend Friday or Saturday night binge watching ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ with my mom,” she said. “And, if I suffer a little bit Sunday night doing work because of that, I’m fine with that.”
For Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, Freshman Family Weekend provides an opportunity to get to know more about his students.
“One of the great privileges in my life is to have an opportunity to work with our students. Helping share this journey with families and guardians, meeting them, and thanking them for their children is one of the goals that we have for this weekend,” he said.
While visiting, families had the chance to attend events, open houses, campus tours, a football game, and to sit in on classes. Many students also took the weekend as a chance to explore Harvard Square and Square businesses with their families.
“We are having a great experience: We love the tailgate party, went to the chemistry class in Science Center. It was interesting,” said Rhonda Scott, the mother of Harris Scott ’21.
During a panel advising parents on how to navigate their child’s transition to College, speakers informed families of the many resources on campus to help freshmen acclimate, such as the Freshman Dean’s Office and the Bureau of Study Council.
Sheila Flynn, the mother of Sarah K. Flynn ’21, said she found the event insightful. Flynn added that the panel’s tips for parents as their return home for winter break were especially helpful.
“I understand that [my daughter] is going to be tired, and she has her own plans, but her roots are at home,” Flynn said.
While many enjoyed relaxing time with parents and siblings, others had family that could not visit. Expecting that some could not make the trip to Cambridge, the College held events to support students without visitors, such as an Undergraduate Council-sponsored dinner with faculty for students without family in town.
And since the weekend took place shortly before Halloween, students could also pass time at festive events themed around the spooky holiday.
“This weekend I’m probably going to hang out with friends, go to some of the events of cultural clubs that I’m in, and go out on the weekend,” said Sahil S. Lauji ’21, whose family did not attend Freshman Family Weekend.
Other freshmen said they did not feel it was productive to invite family to campus, given their busy schedules and impending exams.
“I just don’t think it would not be worthwhile for [my parents] to travel here for the weekend,” said Simon Arango Baquero ’21.
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