This past weekend was family weekend at SMU. Parents and siblings descended upon Dallas from all corners of the globe, including my own parents who made the 30-minute trek from my hometown of Plano, Texas.
There were a number of events to attend starting almost as soon as I finished class that ranged from meet-and-greets in the commons to receptions for scholar communities. Luckily, between all the handshakes and comments about how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my parents and I snuck off to get some dinner.
On a normal Friday night on campus, a few of my friends and I would coordinate dinner somewhere off campus in Snider Plaza or on SMU Boulevard, but this weekend I had to leave my friends hanging. To my surprise, when I arrived at Bandito’s Tex-Mex Cantina, it was packed with those same friends that I normally perform my weekly ritual with. Most of them are from out of state and they all had various reasons for their parents not being present on that evening. However, the thing that really struck me was how indifferent they were to the fact that their parents weren’t there. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I was someone who was excited to have a weekend dedicated to spending time with my family, and they seemed perfectly content with our group of friends.
The next day, I asked one of my friends who was an “orphan” for the weekend if he was upset that his parents couldn’t come and he explained it better than I could’ve possibly imagined. He explained that while he does love his parents dearly, he has a second family here at SMU, so to him every weekend is family weekend. Personally, I couldn’t agree more. I thank my parents for everything they have done for me (especially after they buy me Mexican food) but now that I’m here at SMU, my family has grown from a family of 3 to a family of roughly 11,000.