Cushioned between the last days of February, every Family Weekend is a brief two-day glimpse into the world that students share here on The Farm. However, even among the planned programming loaded with countless workshops, campus tours and welcoming community events, parents come for one ultimate reason — to spend time with the people they love and miss the most.
As a first-year student from the L.A. area, I’m far away from home, but close enough that I can go visit my family fairly easily. In the past few months alone, I’ve gone home a total of four times. I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to see my family so often thus far, and it’s definitely something I hope to never take for granted.
However, seeing my parents and younger brother here at Stanford was a different experience. It was amazing to finally be able to show them a snippet of my home away from home — my second family — as I introduced them to my friends and their own parents. In a sense, it was a heartfelt bonding experience and I’m glad they were able to come up to visit me this time.
Taking my family to El Centro for the family event that the Frosh Liaisons hosted, I was able to show them a brief scope of the sense of wonderful community and support I have here on campus.
For many of us, Family Weekend was about catching up on all the missed time, about cherishing the people that made us realize how much we genuinely miss home. Mo Asebiomo ‘20 says, “It wasn’t until my parents were here on campus that I realized how much I missed them. It was strange seeing my parents and those of my classmates in this world of Stanford where we’ve built our own microcosms and formed our own habits.”
Soccer player Logan Karam ‘20 had a similarly positive experience. “My parents were able to meet all of my friends’ parents as well as my friends,” he says. “It was great for them to put faces to the people I always talk to them on the phone with. I had not seen them since Christmas, so they were so happy to take me out to dinner and see what life is like on The Farm outside of the soccer field.”
Even for those of us who don’t find ourselves missing home regularly, it was refreshing to connect with our loved ones once again.
For Aisha Balogun ‘20, “who doesn’t get homesick often at all, being able to joke around and catch up with [her dad] was an experience [she] needed to have.” She FaceTimes her family, but she says she often doesn’t realize how much time has passed since the last time she’s called her family until her mom points it out.
The truth is, school can get busy and it can sometimes get difficult to keep up with our families, but it’s important to remember to make time for those who have been there with us from the beginning.
“I hadn’t realized how much I really missed them until they were coming to visit,” says Araceli Garcia ‘20 about her mom and younger brother. “Seeing them again was awesome — my mom even made Tex-Mex breakfast tacos that I hadn’t eaten in forever.” To keep in touch, Araceli texts her family everyday and tries to call a few times a week. As for tackling homesickness, she advises us to stay really busy, since that usually helps her.
Yessica Martinez ‘20 feels that the best way to deal with her homesickness is to “FaceTime her parents and listen to loud Spanish music.” Although she wasn’t able to see her family during Family Weekend, she had the chance to fly back home a few weeks ago, and it was nice for her to take some time away from campus and connect with her family back in Washington. Yessica also calls her family everyday and even has a group chat with her parents and older brother.
“I taught my parents how to use Snapchat, so I Snapchat them too,” she says.
As you can see, there are lots of ways for us to keep in touch with our loved ones back home, whether or not we get the chance to visit them as much as we’d like. At the end of the day, it’s important to remind ourselves that distance and time apart is insignificant, for family is forever inseparable, even across borders and states.
Contact Clarissa Gutierrez at cgutier ‘at’ stanford.edu.