There is usually a lot of “lingo” that comes along with University life. One familiar phrase we hear year after year is JPW. What exactly do the letters mean, and, more importantly, what does it mean for ushers at the center? Last year, KristaRose wrote about the Junior Parents Weekend experience from the eyes of an alumna. Here is what she had to say in order to help ushers understand what this weekend means on the campus of Notre Dame…
Freshman year is spent being “babied” by our RAs, rectors, and introductory professors and everyone making the comment, “Oh, Freshmen!” when we would inquire something as silly as, “What’s Touchdown Jesus?” (I promise you, I knew the answer to that one before I stepped on campus!)
Sophomore year students finally get to “fly solo” and not depend on hall staff as much. We start to really develop great friendships and our own routine. No more awkward Frosh-O (Freshman Orientation) activities of thrusting us into a room with strangers and the upperclassmen saying, “Go, make friends!” We learn to be more independent.
Junior year rolls around and everyone is looking into internships (if they haven’t already been looking at them since freshman year!) and travelling abroad and realizing, “Hey, I might not make it home this year for break.” We’re growing up, spreading our wings, and literally flying to places as we study abroad. We all dive deeper into our majors and suddenly our close friends in different colleges will never be seen again until graduation because the basement of Mendoza becomes home. So, as we realize we’re about to enter the “real world” and we’re getting offers for internships “in the big city” and we have to look for apartments and learn how to pay rent…we realize we’re finally becoming adults. We also realize that we are thankful to the parental figures in our lives for all the sacrifices they’ve made and all they have done to get us to where we are today. Parents, when blessed enough, make at least three monumental visits to Notre Dame with their children: Freshman Orientation, Junior Parents Weekend, and finally Commencement. (It’s obvious enough to say that orientation is when parents are nervous nellies leaving their babies for the first time and graduation is when they beam with pride.)
JPW is when the roles finally reverse. The children say, “Welcome to my world,” and host their parents for the weekend, experiencing dorm and classroom life. Most of all, they get to bond with their grown-up children. It’s the beautiful opportunity Notre Dame gives to students to say thank you to their parents.
JPW is February 14th until February 16th. Parents and their junior students attend a gala, collegiate workshops, special masses, dinners, and performances. The campus is busy, and (what’s new) parking can present some challenges. But visitors come to enjoy the wonderful things that Notre Dame has to offer, maybe even making the Performing Arts Center a stop on their weekend’s agenda! As ambassadors of the University, please welcome our guests to the place we call home!