Family Weekend

Texas A&M’s Family Weekend is a chance for Aggie families to get to know Aggieland. But for Charis Adkins and other students without family in town, it’s a nightmare of tourists during a scholastic crunch time.

Family Weekend is a great concept, but it has one fatal flaw: timing.

For those unaware, Family Weekend is one of the more self-explanatory A&M traditions — it encourages parents to come down for one weekend and spend time in Aggieland. The university’s New Student & Family Programs division puts on an array of events every year, from a Maroon & White game to an Aggie Mom Boutique.

While this may be a fun weekend activity for students whose parents came into town, it makes campus all but uninhabitable for everyone else. So, A&M, I have one question: Who thought it was a good idea to stick it at the end of April?

That's when finals start to polish their shoes for the bi-annual butt-kicking they give to students. Q-drop deadlines are nearing. The due dates for those big group projects you’ve known about for months, but have yet to start, are around the corner. It's about the time of the semester when students realize that all those days of playing hooky are coming back to bite them in the GPA.

At least, for me, it's the time of the semester when I push my studying into maximum overdrive. The last thing I needed last weekend was hordes of middle-aged women swarming my favorite study spots.

Now don't get me wrong, Aggie moms are great — in moderation. The hugs and candy they give out during finals week? Immaculate.

But when I'm sitting on the quiet floor of Evans Library slaving over 20 pages of notes for an exam that makes up 40% of my grade, I don’t want to hear all the gritty details of Cara Joe’s latest knee surgery from a woman who doesn't know how to modulate her voice.

Regardless of the weekend, on-campus study spots are a necessity. It’s a fairly universal agreement among students that homework doesn’t get done when you’re at home. I mean, I can’t focus in my apartment — it’s far too easy to convince myself I need to clean my toilet rather than memorize the power structure of the Texas government.

Normally, it’s a problem with an easy solution. Last weekend … not so much.

I can think of only one reason as to why A&M always schedules Family Weekend when finals are imminent: Aggie Ring Day, or the tradition surrounding upperclassmen receiving their Aggie Rings.

According to A&M’s website, Ring Day is actually the kickoff event of Family Weekend. Which, sure, I guess that makes sense, but it doesn't have to be that way. Ring Day and Family Weekend don’t have to be simultaneous. In fact, I'd wager most upperclassmen's families would rather avoid campus when it's going to be packed tighter than Kyle Field during a ‘Bama game.

I can understand wanting to wait until the spring so freshmen can get a feel for campus. But there are literally twelve other weekends before April — twelve other options for Family Weekend that don’t overlap with crunch time for students. Why not try one of those out?

A&M, this one’s for you: Next year, let’s consider the educational implications before scheduling Family Weekend.

Charis Adkins is an English sophomore and opinion columnist for The Battalion.


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