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Family Weekend was good for a lot more than free food

TNH Columnist

Published: Monday, October 3, 2011

Updated: Monday, October 3, 2011 23:10


This weekend, many students here at the University of New Hampshire got to spend some quality time with their families.

That was, of course, due to the fact that it was Family Weekend. One nice trait about this weekend in particular, however, was that I was able to actually communicate with my parents for the first time in what seemed like ages.

We were able to enjoy UNH's football home opener, watch the men's hockey team shutout New Brunswick, and overeat like we were never going to get another morsel of food.

It was a chance to catch up, see how everything and everyone was back home, and a great opportunity to get a little glimpse of home without all the commitment.

Yet amidst all of the fun attributes about Family Weekend here at UNH, I came away with a new sense of appreciation for my family and all they have done for me. Why?

Not because of the free food, gifts, or ridiculous amount of attention I received, but in large part because of how much has gone on with my family since I left in August.

I was able to hear about my grandfather, who was recovering from cancer when I left, get diagnosed with yet another type of cancer. I was able to see my dad, who seems to struggle with each and every step, try and make his way around the campus of UNH.

It was with this new found knowledge about my family that I came to realize just how much they have meant to me over the past 18 years of my life. And now, to be away from my parents once more, I can't help but wonder just how their flight back to Iowa went, how my dad is holding up, and if my grandfather is going to have to go through chemotherapy.

These are things, to be quite frank, that I was not experiencing before this weekend. Because, while I did miss my family back home, I was far more concerned with what was going on here during my transition into college. And now, with my transition becoming relatively easier as the semester rolls along, I anticipate more phone calls back home, just to see how everyone is doing.

Before I get people who are reading this thinking that I am just looking for sympathy, quickly realize I am not. I am not my grandfather, and I am not my father.

No, this week's column is more or less a reminder to all of those members of the UNH student body who sometimes take their family for granted

 Because while you may be having fun doing whatever it is that you do, they could be going through struggles back at your home that you are completely unaware of.

So, whenever you have a free moment over the course of your week, perhaps it would be wise to take a moment and call mom and dad just to see what is going on with them.

You could find yourself very surprised with what you hear.

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