The Daily Illini

Students talk dads

Brian Nguyen

Brian Nguyen

By Serina Taluja, Assistant Special Sections Editor

Our dads tend to be people close to our hearts for being people who love, care for and support us through the thick and thin. Our dads are there to offer sound advice, to lend a hand or simply to listen. In preparation for this year’s Dads Weekend, I asked 10 students about their dads, and my heart got warmer each time.

Liam Millett, senior in LAS, said, “My dad wants me to be happy, and that’s all I could have ever asked for in a dad.” This sweet statement was followed by Millett explaining as long as he was happy, his dad was always there to celebrate with him during his triumphs — be they scholastic, social or personal achievements.

“My dad is my No. 1 supporter; he always supports all of my endeavors,” said Chris Jimenez, senior in LAS.

I’m sure, as most of us are aware, support is one of the most important things parents can provide as we move through our college careers.

Alex McAfee, senior in ACES, jumped at the opportunity to talk about his amazing stepdad.

“My stepdad is super rad. He builds a lot, and he built a balcony bigger than our living room in our house. He’s super supportive and friendly and loving,” McAfee said.

Joe DeMuro, senior in LAS, said you don’t always need to see eye-to-eye with your dad to still love him.

“My dad is great because he supports and trusts me, even though we have our differences,” DeMuro said.

There’s also that intangible thing about dads that makes them awesome. Sometimes, there’s that something that’s so totally them, you just can’t quite put your finger on it.

“My dad is very cool. Like most dads, he’s just … dad-cool,” said Jinmeng Liu, senior in Media.

Andie Lu, senior in Media, pointed out the differences between the relationship she has with her mom versus with her dad and how those differences make each relationship special.

“My mom likes to talk a lot, which is great. My dad doesn’t talk so much — he’s more of an action-based person. I know he’s always got me covered and is always there to help me, even if he doesn’t say it,” Lu said.

Lauren Paddock, junior in ACES, said she enjoys doing regular, day-to-day things with her dad.

“My dad is always down to do anything with me. We pal around doing literally anything together, like going to the gym, making dinner, running errands or whatever we think of,” Paddock said.

Some relationships with parents may change once their kids enter college. For David Friedman, senior in Engineering, this change came with many unexpected stories about his dad’s college experience.

“My dad is really open with me now and likes to tell me stories about when he was my age. Crazy stuff, too, like how he partied or never went to class, and I’m over here like, ‘How did you not go to class?’” Friedman said.

Elle Pierson, junior in Engineering, was inspired by her dad to choose her major.

“He definitely taught me how engineering could be fun and cool. He built us this amazing treehouse when we were kids, or he would build me little things to go with my American Girl dolls, and it was all him using engineering in a way that made sense to me and was so interesting. The skills you learn are things you can actually use in real life,” Pierson said. “And since he was in my same major, he never pressures me about grades or anything; he’s so understanding.”

“My dad has been a role model to me throughout my life. He taught me to work hard and inspired some of my interests in the outdoors and music,” said Kyle Bathgate, senior in Engineering.

Many of us are blessed with dads who inspire and support us in everything we do, and the upcoming weekend is a great opportunity to show appreciation. If your dad is coming to campus, spend quality time with him, and let him know you care. And if he can’t make it, simply give him a call. I’m sure he’d love it.

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