Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

Parents waiting in line to check in for parents weekend on October 29, 2021. This year's lack of COVID-19 restrictions allows for expanded programming for the weekend.

October 17, 2022

Excitement is in the Air as First-Year Students Prepare for Parents Weekend

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With this year’s Family Weekend kicking off on Friday, first-year students are eager to show their families a piece of their Cornell experiences thus far.  

An expected 3,000 family members and guests will visit campus this weekend. Director of Parent and Family Programs Lindsey Bray noted that this year’s lack of COVID-19 restrictions allows for expanded programming compared to the past few years.   

“We are excited to bring back a more traditional and highly engaging experience for our families,” Bray wrote in an email to The Sun. “Families will have even more opportunities to connect with faculty and staff throughout the weekend this year.”

Parents, siblings and grandparents are traveling from across the country to Ithaca, some for the first time since move-in day.  

The weekend provides families the opportunity to experience campus alongside their students. First-year students, who have spent the semester settling into their routines, can tour campus with their families without the added stress of orientation week events.  

“[I’m looking forward to] getting to show my parents the new life that I’ve been building for myself here and show them what it’s like to live here on a daily basis,” said Maya Weisberg ’26.

Popular events include climbing to the top of McGraw Tower to enjoy a Chimes Concert and view of West Campus, walking through the Botanic Gardens and watching the sunset on Libe Slope. First-year students expressed particular excitement at visiting the slope with their families. 

“Whenever I sit [on the slope], especially during the sunset, it makes me realize how grateful I am to be here, and I want to show my family that,” said Katie Conley ’26.

In addition to showing their families around campus, first-year students look forward to spending time with their families amidst the stress of prelims, classes and adjusting to a college lifestyle.  

“It’s been, really, the first time where I’ve gone through long stretches of time without seeing [my family], so it’ll be nice to do some activities with them once they’re here,” Nick Paslar Bunemer ’26 said.

Some students, like Weisberg, look forward to showing their families the pockets of nature around campus.

“I’m excited to walk them around and show them the beautiful fall foliage, the waterfalls and just be in the nature aspect of the campus,” Weisberg said.

Students also plan to explore the natural offerings of the surrounding Ithaca area with their families. Conley and Manraj Singh ’26 look forward to visiting local waterfalls.  

“I’m excited to just show my family how ‘gorges’ Ithaca is,” Singh said.