For the first time in two years, the Villanova community came together to celebrate Family Weekend. Families from all over migrated to Lancaster Ave and participated in all the fun campus activities the school set up, culminating in a nail-biter of a football game. For current freshman and sophomores this was their first experience with Family Weekend, as the threat of COVID-19 prevented large-scale gatherings. But this past weekend, it was heartwarming to see the greater Villanova together.
It felt great for students and families alike to be back in a crowd. The feeling of finally returning to some normalcy and community interaction was almost overwhelming. From the tailgate tents to standing in the endzone when Villanova came back and swept Richmond, the whole day was one big celebration. The tailgate was exceptionally done and would be great to have as an option for every home game so as to continue bringing excitement and energy to the football season.
For many parents, this was the first time meeting their kid’s friends and families. These interactions only strengthened the greater Villanova community and bonds between its members. Families from hometowns thousands of miles apart were brought together by Villanova and opened the possibility of fostering lifelong friendships. Villanova is known for its abundant community, and this authentic experience is something we lost out on last year. It was extremely uplifting to see Villanovans regaining this unreplicable spirit after so many months.
Over the last year, we have thought a lot about our internal community, students and staff. We’ve prioritized protecting our own, which, understandably, meant we had to somewhat separate ourselves as a community from the outside world. For the sake of protection and being on campus, these actions were absolutely necessary, but it is important to remember the people that constitute the greater Villanova community. The alumni, parents, grandparents, friends, etc., are an enormous part of what makes our community so special.
The pandemic allows us to have greater appreciation for days like these, filled with togetherness after being isolated for so long. We no longer take for granted small acts like standing in bleachers less than 6 feet apart and cheering for our team. More than ever we value hugging our families and being able to congregate under a tent with our loved ones.
It is still important to remain vigilant as a community in regards to the pandemic, taking precautions and following guidelines in order to ensure our spot on campus this semester. If we want to continue to have these fun times in the future, we need to remain cooperative now. After all, basketball season is rapidly approaching, and we want to be able to enjoy that as a community to the fullest extent.