The Daily Illini

Choose a different weekend for dad to visit

Connor Ciecko

Connor Ciecko

By Melissa Niemiec, Staff Writer

The dads are coming. And no, not to revolt against how much their children are costing tuition bills (though there will probably be plenty of those too) but to visit their kids, go to the football game and have a little fun on a weekend specifically for them. My father does not, and probably will not, participate in Dads Weekend, simply because I don’t want him to. This isn’t because I hate Dads Weekend or because I hate my dad. It comes down to a couple logical considerations.

One of my biggest issues with Dads Weekend is that although it is nice the University has set aside a special time for you and your dad, that also means it is a special time for 40,000 other students and their dads. Most students, like you, want to take their dads to eat, to see a movie, shop, go to the game and get a drink.

Every dad needs a hotel. On Dads Weekend, every restaurant, store and bar are packed with students and their dads. That means you have to go through the stress of getting food reservations, fighting the crowds in stores and setting up hotels way in advance. Why not just have him visit another weekend when you don’t have to fight other people for space?

Also, due to this influx of people staying in the area, hotel rates skyrocket. According to The News-Gazette, prices can double or triple over Dads Weekend, and if you don’t book early, you might get stuck with a less desirable option. I’d rather my dad save some money and maybe even score a nicer hotel by coming on a different weekend.

Another consideration is how far in advance you need to book hotels and how that affects academic planning. You have to book so far ahead that it’s hard to know whether you will have a midterm, a project or time-consuming work for a club. I can’t plan my life that far in advance, and I would be frustrated if my work was rushed because of a weekend I could have planned for any other time. It just seems like it’s easier halfway into the semester to say, “Hey dad, I’m pretty free on this date. You should come down!”

Dads Weekend is also exceptionally close to Thanksgiving break. This year, they are only a week apart. Why would I make my father drive all the way down to Champaign when I’m going to see him in a week? That’s a lot of seeing my dad in two weeks. Personally, I’d rather have him visit in one of those long stretches when there aren’t any breaks and it isn’t possible for me to go home, like from January through March.

Now I understand that for a lot of people Dads Weekend is a tradition, and that’s great. But it’s also OK if you don’t have your dad visit. There are plenty of kids who aren’t able to have a father figure come for the weekend for various reasons. Just team up to help each other find other activities to do during the weekend. You can try to avoid the mobs of middle-aged men reliving their glory days and shooting off dad jokes. Or enjoy them, because when it’s not your own father telling them, dad jokes are pretty great.


Melissa is a sophomore in LAS.

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