The five emotions of preparing for Family Weekend

The five emotions of preparing for Family Weekend

Family Weekend is a time of fun with your parents and siblings. However, the two or three weeks leading up to the event are fraught with some intense emotions that you may or may not fully know how to navigate.

These can be categorized into five general stages: ambivalence, anticipation, impatience, panic, and finally, acceptance. In case you’re unsure of which stage you’re in, here’s a helpful guide.


When your parents first call to make plans and discuss Family Weekend, you probably aren’t thinking much about it at all. I mean, you’re most likely worrying about the three tests and two papers you have before then. Hello, ambivalence. During this stage, you literally just don’t care. Your parents aren’t coming for another few weeks, so there’s really no reason for you to care.

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It’s about a week and a half before Family Weekend, and you’re looking forward to seeing Mom and Dad and maybe even your dog if you’re lucky. Welcome to anticipation. You’re thinking it’ll be nice to get some family love again, and you’re definitely anticipating all the good food you’re going to get — food that you won’t have to pay for. Literally nothing sounds better right now, except maybe a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked to celebrate finishing all those pesky tests and papers.


There’s a little under a week to go until your parents arrive. You’ve moved past anticipating Family Weekend and now you’re just feeling impatient. It’s the same feeling you got in high school when there was a big party or dance coming up: molasses could probably move faster than the clock, and it’s annoying you to no end. Have no fear, though. Things are about to get exciting.


T-24 hours until Mom and Dad get into town, and suddenly you’re realizing that your entire life is the definition of a hot mess. Your professors don’t seem to care that it’s Family Weekend, so they’ve assigned you a large amount of homework that’s due Monday. Your roommate decided to have a couple dozen friends over last night, and now the room looks like a hurricane swept through. Without a doubt, you’re now in DEFCON 1 stress mode since you have no clue how you’re going to get everything together in time.


Family Weekend is finally here, and you couldn’t be more relieved. Regardless of the mountain of homework, your room is cleaner than it has been all semester, and now you can kick back, relax and enjoy some quality time with your parents. There will be time for worrying about things later — most likely on Sunday evening after they leave — but for now, being spoiled by your family is all that matters. Congratulations, you’ve survived the preparations for Family Weekend.

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