This past weekend was Parent’s Weekend at Duke. It was both strange and exciting to see families walking around Duke’s campus and I was especially excited to see my own. My parents and my two younger sisters, Rachel and Maggie, came and visited. It was the first time my sisters got to see my dorm (“you have to walk all the way down your hall just to brush your teeth?!”) and the first time my parents met my friends here at Duke – whom I like to call my family away from home. The weekend was like having the best of both worlds, since I finally had the opportunity to mesh my two lives together.
On Saturday, my family got a taste of Duke’s school spirit and athletics. We attended the football and basketball games together. During the basketball game, my parents stood in the student section with me and felt what it is like to be a Cameron Crazie. It was fun to see my mom actually get genuinely excited about a basketball game (love you, mom). Then, on Sunday, my family attended Mass and a family brunch sponsored by the Catholic Center before heading back to Granite Falls.
After a previous week full of homework and studying for exams, it was comforting to have a piece of home come to Duke. I know my family enjoyed it as well. They were already talking about next year’s Parent’s Weekend when they dropped me off at my dorm. It was bittersweet to say goodbye and return to my normal Duke life. But, they left me two cases of Cheerwine, so I was happy. (If you don’t live in the South, you have probably been deprived of this delicious cherry-flavored soft drink. Make it a priority to try some if you ever visit!)
Ironically, having that sense of familiarity from home come to Duke showed me just how much I’ve really changed over my time here. My mom and dad even noticed how much I have already adapted to the Duke environment, saying they were surprised at how natural it seemed to be for me walking around campus, introducing my friends, and talking about my classes and professors. After only two months in college, I am both eager and excited to see how Duke will continue to change and shape me, while still having my family and small-town roots to rely on and be a distinct part of who I am and who I aspire to be.
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