Last weekend was one of my favorite weekends of the fall semester — Trojan Family Weekend! Every year, USC invites all the families of current students to campus for a weekend of football, food, and fun. When I was a freshman, this was a really special time for my parents to get a glimpse of what life was like for me here at SC, as well as meet some of my friends, professors, and advisers. Now that I’m a senior, it was somewhat of a bittersweet weekend. My parents remarked more than once how sad it was that this would be their last parents weekend.

Friday morning I was up bright and early to help out at the Viterbi parents breakfast. This is always a fun event, because parents get to meet a lot of the faculty and hear Dean Yortsos speak, and then we take them on lab tours and other activities, such as a mock Freshman Academy class. Later that afternoon I grabbed lunch with my parents and we had coffee in RTH cafe. It’s funny how much has changed in 4 years — when I was a senior in high school, I remember visiting USC and buying lunch with my parents at RTH cafe, which at the time was new and foreign. Now, I feel like the cafe is my home away from home!

Friday night, my parents and I met up with my brother who lives in Pasadena for dinner at Roy’s and then we went to Hollywood to see Cirque du Soleil’s Iris at the Kodak Theatre. It was such a cool show! I had never seen a Cirque du Soleil show before, but I had seen the Shanghai acrobats when I went to China, and I was similarly blown away by their amazing tricks and the beauty of it all.

Saturday was game day, but since the game wasn’t until the evening, I suggested a hike in the Pasadena mountains for the morning. It was a beautiful day and I really enjoyed spending some time in nature. It’s crazy how you can go just a little bit outside of the city and suddenly everything, from culture to landscape, is completely different.

And then – Saturday night. USC v. Stanford. What. A. Game. Even though we lost, I was so proud of our team. They really embodied the spirit behind “Fight On.” The energy in the stadium was electric to the very end of triple overtime. It was probably one of my favorite games I’ve been to in my entire time at SC. And then, what better way to recoup a loss than to go out to another great dinner with the family?

By Sunday morning I was EXHAUSTED, so I slept in a little, grabbed a light breakfast with my parents at this cute little Danish bakery downtown, and then said goodbye. It was a great last parents weekend, and I had a really fun time (and ate SO MUCH delicious free food). And although I can no longer say “Can’t wait for next year!” I’m so grateful for the tradition that Trojan Family Weekend has been for the last four years.