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‘It Warmed Our Hearts’: Families Arrive on Campus for First-Year Family Weekend

Freshmen at the College traditionally live in Harvard Yard.
Freshmen at the College traditionally live in Harvard Yard. By Julian J. Giordano
By Claire Yuan, Crimson Staff Writer

This weekend, parents, siblings, and family members flooded Harvard Yard to participate in First-Year Family Weekend, hosted by the Dean of Students Office.

The weekend featured scheduled programming, including the Harvard-Columbia football game, performances from the First-Year Arts Program, and special access to the Annenberg dining hall and various museums on campus.

Ashley L. Redhead ’26 said he found Family Weekend to be a welcome reprieve from the fast pace of the fall semester. Rather than attending the scheduled events, Redhead opted to spend time with his family in a more informal setting.

“It’s our first semester, and it feels like we’ve just been working non-stop,” Redhead said. “I really appreciated this weekend to see my family and reground myself.”

Redhead’s father Ashley L. Redhead Jr. added that the weekend gave parents an opportunity to meet and connect with one another.

“I’ve met so many different parents on and off campus, and so many connections were made just as a result of someone in the elevator seeing my button or someone seeing the hat — from Trader Joe’s to the hotel elevator lobby,” he said.

For Isabella U.M. Texeira-Ramos ’26, Family Weekend was a particularly “important” experience because it allowed her to spend a week with her mom despite being unable to travel home for Thanksgiving.

“I’ve had great opportunities to be able to introduce my mom to all of my friends, to introduce her to a lot of my support system on campus,” she added.

As a performer in the FAP show and the musical Something Rotten, Texeira-Ramos appreciated the chance to stage performances for the visiting families.

“There [were] a lot of people that turned out that we weren't expecting to be there, much more beyond just the parents of who were performing, and I think that was super special,” Texeira-Ramos said.

Catherine Texeira-Ramos, a parent who flew in from Arizona, said she enjoyed seeing her daughter settled on campus.

“The friendships that she’s made here is the family that she’s given herself here,” she said. “It warmed our hearts to know that they have a family here.”

Avinashi A.L. Bhandari ’26 said she took advantage of the weekend to show her mother, an English professor, her interest in the sciences.

“It was very interesting to take her to my math class, and I took her to a research fair, so it was kind of like a day in my life,” she said. “I had a fantastic time.”

Bhandari added that while her mom’s career as a professor means she is already familiar with the lives of college students, Family Weekend served as a “good way for her to get an insight on my life.”

“I think it was pretty nice to have my mom around with me,” she said. “I’ve missed her.”

—Claire Yuan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @claireyuan33.

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