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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

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There’s no place like home, but college places a close second

Each year, thousands of freshmen leaving for college say goodbye to their parents for the first time in their lives.

Upon arriving at school, first-year students are subjected to a whole new environment. Late nights become common, new friends are made and a sense of freedom dominates.

As we get older, we realize that college is a place all our own. We can tell friends and family from home about our achievements and the opportunities given to us, but they can never fully understand because they cannot experience it for themselves.

However, once a year, BG gives us the opportunity to literally show our parents and siblings the lives we live while enrolled at the University.

Every fall, Family Weekend descends on campus, bringing orange and brown streamers, an array of fresh flowers and an extensive cleaning of the grounds.

Parents receive letters and e-mails with detailed itineraries of the weekend’s events, while students are subjected to constant reminders from fliers and banners strewn about the University.

This year is no different. The same decorations, cleanliness and fervor run rampant across campus as the weekend gets closer. Unfortunately for students and families alike, similar family-orientated activities also dominate the pre-planned agenda.

Each time Family Weekend rolls around, I always naively assume that maybe this year the Office of Campus Activities will provide students and families with a more diverse and mature array of options than normally delivered.

But after looking over the itinerary sent to my household detailing the list of events offered by the University, I was once again dismayed to learn that a majority of the activities presented were only geared toward families with young children.

For example, although I’m sure kindergarteners would enjoy bingo, board games and constant reruns of Shrek the 3rd in the Union Theater, most teenagers don’t.

After interviewing a number of students whose parents and siblings attend Family Weekend, I found that families with children who are teenagers or young adults are the most likely to go to the event.

The No. 1 reason behind this trend was the simple fact that Family Weekend gives our teenage siblings a chance to experience the college life a year or two before they leave for school themselves.

However, parents aren’t the only ones who realize that Family Weekend offers our siblings a potential tour of the school.

Nearly one-third of the ‘activities’ listed on the agenda for the weekend are simply tour guides and information on clubs and classes here on campus.

For instance, just in case your younger brother or sister was already concerned about what fraternity or sorority they wanted to join upon entering college, the Office of Greek Affairs has them covered with an event titled ‘Everything You Wanted to Know About the BGSU Greek Community!’ That’s sure to get the kids excited!

Not only that, but the University also offers a ‘Study Abroad Information Session’ as well as a ‘Falcon Family Advisory Board Meeting.’ Thrilling!

Although the weekend does include some interesting choices, including a climbing adventure and the football game, most of the activities planned just don’t make the cut.

What the University needs to realize is that events don’t have to center around tours of the school and its many diverse clubs and groups. The only thing needed to sell BGSU to parents and siblings is spirited students who love their university, which I know BG has plenty of.

‘ Family Weekend, in honor of its name, should focus on all the members of a student’s family – not just younger children or teenagers ready to go off to college themselves.’

‘ It is a time for parents and siblings to come together and enjoy what a wonderful college we attend, as well as for students to welcome their families into a life that they are making all their own.

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