It’s OK to be estranged

You are not truly alone even if you feel alone this family weekend



Not every family is perfect the important thing is to take care of yourself

PARKER R. SCHAFER, Evergreen columnist

Family weekend is fast approaching, and many are excited to see their parents and loved ones. I, on the other hand, dread the families’ arrival.

As unfortunate as it may seem, my parents and family are not coming out that weekend. And that, in all honesty, is fine.

The part that is hard about the family weekend is less that I do not see my family, but that I have to see families where their children are getting support and love even if it is a bit overwhelming.

However, I am not alone in this situation.

354 Undergraduate and graduate students participated in a study published by the Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Science surrounding the estrangement of students and their families.

“Overall, 154 (43.5%) reported experiencing an estrangement; 60 (39%, 16.9% of the entire sample) from 1 or more immediate family members (nuclear estrangement), 94 (61%, 26.6% of the entire sample) from extended family members (extended estrangement),” wrote Richard P. Conti.

Seeing as I am not spelunking without a tether, I can provide some tips and tricks to help get us all through the lonely reminder this weekend brings.

To start off, I personally will be taking myself out to drinks. Granted, I am underage, so this means mocktails at Rico’s Pub until 9 p.m. but it can still be fun.

Now you may be saying, “Well I can’t exactly fill the day with drinks alone,” and my answer to that would be, read the rest of the article because there is a lot more left.

I will personally be taking time to get my steps in with a walk. Spend some time walking around and exploring. I love to walk the train tracks in either direction and just go until I decide I want to head back. It is an interesting walk especially because you can put in some music and just breathe.

So get out your Walkman and plug in the tunes and take a deep breath of fresh air.

I think the important thing to remember about being alone on family weekend is that people still love you even if you do not talk to your family – whether that be your friend, your partner, or hell, even the frog you caught by the river bank.

On top of that, go watch a show. I am re-watching “Friends” right now. And, yes, it is a funny show and it is okay to have a laugh track. I am allowed to have a comfort show right now.

This weekend I think I will also try to get some homework done. Though I may not succeed and might just end up scrolling TikTok for hours on end because of my crippling desire for a break, I will still have put in the effort to get it done.

Looking towards the future, know that you are not alone, and that family is not something that is set in stone. You can always make your family with whomever you connect with and love.

We commonly know the saying: “Blood is thicker than water.” You may have heard this from a family member suggesting that family is forever but friends are temporary.

I disagree with this mentality entirely. The original saying is, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” meaning that your family is who you choose to have in it; it is up to your own definition and not defined by who raised you.

This is a good mentality to hold because it is far healthier. And to those who do have their families coming up this weekend, that is wonderful and you should have a wonderful time and show off how much you have accomplished over this school year.

But to those who do not? It is okay. Take a break. Take time to show yourself love and respect. You are in college and doing it alone. Be proud of yourself.