When I was first dropped off at college as a first-year student, I was so excited to have my first taste of freedom. It wasn’t because I was excited to leave California and not see my family anymore, but because it was something that was different. I love being at Saint Martin’s University for the community I have formed here, but as time goes on, I can’t help but miss my family. For the longest time, I have been wishing that they could come
up to Washington to truly experience why I love Saint Martin’s so much; last weekend, Family Weekend allowed me to do that.
That weekend, around 300 people filled the Norman Worthington Conference Center despite the stormy weather that hit the Pacific Northwest, and one of those people was my mom. She flew in from California to join me in the festivities and we both had a great time. The event itself promoted one of the university’s core value of community, and it was really interesting to see how so many Saint families came together to participate in Saint Martin’s University culture. The event began with a luncheon where families were able to meet each other and mingle with SMU faculty. Here, President Heynderickx talked about what has been happening around the university,
including social events and the midterms that are upon us students, and Abbot Neal talked about how he began his journey at Saint Martin’s as well as his role in the abbey community. The big tables at the event were provided a welcoming environment. I was fortunate enough to sit with the Watson family and the Wesselman family. We talked about future careers, what it’s like when we are home, why we are at this university, and so on and so on. I loved getting to know them and forming these friendships that will carry me through college and beyond.
Following lunch, families were invited to attend SMU Bingo, various “University 101” presentations by
professors, the women’s volleyball game, and wine, dine, and cider with the deans. These events really allowed me to give my mom a taste of SMU culture, as well as meet and hang out with the other people! The coolest part of it all was learning where every SMU family came from. What amazes me is that if it weren’t for Saint Martin’s, I would have never met so many interesting students and families. People from Hawaii, Indiana, California, Washington, Alaska, and even international students come together to celebrate education and community. And that is incredible.
I am so thankful for family weekend. I missed my dad, my mom, my three brothers, and my dog, but even having just my mom here that weekend really helped make that longing a little more bearable. Our first family weekend as a university was a success, and I can’t wait to see what is to come.