Editor’s note: Erin Frey ’17 has been a student writer, reporter and social media specialist in University Marketing and Communications since summer 2015. In this piece, during her last Family Weekend experience , Erin reflects on the memories made on campus with her parents and brother during the September event.
Two UD siblings, 16 tuition payments, four on campus residence halls, four houses in the student neighborhood and six family weekends.
It is safe to say that the Frey family is quite familiar with UD’s campus — so familiar that saying goodbye is going to be harder than anticipated.
When I was a high-schooler scouting out colleges, I did not want to come to UD. My older brother was there and I was eager to move out of Ohio. I wanted to create a college experience of my own without following in my brother’s footsteps.
However, when I visited my brother, Ethan, a sophomore at the time, I knew Dayton was it. The people and the campus were too perfect to even think about going anywhere else.
Ethan ’16 and I are two years apart so my family has been attending Family Weekend since 2012. Each one has been different. Some have been spent in Welcome Stadium cheering on the Flyers football team, another was spent in the backyard of 430 Kiefaber listening and dancing to oldies. This year’s was spent reminiscing on the last six Family Weekend’s by walking around campus and through the neighborhood.
My parents sashayed down Kiefaber listening to the melodies of “their music” stream from every window. As we took it all in, scents of barbeque and crisp leaves filled the air. Over the music, you could hear students introducing their families to their “Flyer families.” It was as if everything was truly right in the world.“There’s just a buzz about this weekend,” my mom, Michelle, said. “I have to take pictures and show my friends. They just would never believe how much fun we’re having.”
It is definitely a bittersweet moment for my parents. I am graduating in December, so after putting three kids (I have an older sister who went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio) through 20 years each of Catholic education, they and their wallets are blissful. However, my empty nester parents have a love for Dayton that they struggle to put into words.
This bittersweet feeling rings true for me as well. Even as a writer, I find it incredible challenging to describe how much I love UD and the person I have become here. At the same time, a part of me is so excited to take what I have learned here and apply it to my future career.
Before my parents went home to their recently purchased, downsized home in Newport Kentucky, they hugged me and gave me a high-five.
“We did it!” My dad cheered.
My mom held onto me a little longer, “We’re going to miss this place,” she said.