This past weekend was strange for me. I was on the Tiger Network, commentat-ing during the Trinity women’s soccer game against Sewanee when, in the pre-match introduction, voice of the Tigers James Hill announced that the day marked 15 years since the attacks of 9/11.

I was flabbergasted. I was, of course, aware of the date and the anniversary it represents, but 15 years sounds like such a long time, and I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Things like this only serve as a reminder to us all how lucky we are every day to have our lives. Make the most of yours.

And certainly life is too short to not enjoy yourself. I had ups and downs this past weekend — from the heartbreak of a Manchester Derby defeat, to Larry Fitzgerald’s two touchdown catch heroics rescuing one of my fantasy football teams — but I tried every second to have fun.

Trinity soccer (both men’s and women’s) and volleyball going a combined 8-0 at home over the three days was enough to put a very broad smile on my face. Trinity sports really are the best free entertainment in San Antonio. I’m not gonna stop telling you to go to athletic events, so you might as well all just accept it and go get involved now! #TigerPride. (Marketing department: I’ll accept my payment for this advertising in cash only.)

But once all the serious stuff was out of the way, I wanted to enjoy myself and socialise with my friends. One small kink in this plan was that my parents were still in town, visiting from London. As an international student, I can’t just drive home for the weekend. Therefore, my family being in town is quite a big deal and almost takes precedence over the rest of my Trinity life. So with this conundrum in mind I decided to have the best of both worlds and combine the two. I invited my parents to a party.

This might seem ridiculous. I’m well aware that most students can think of nothing worse than their parents seeing them out and about and, probably, drinking. Luckily, I don’t have that issue. My family is pretty relaxed and open even by the liberal standards that North London provides. So thankfully I had nothing to hide and was quite happy to have my parents fully welcomed into the Trinity life. My parents socialised with a bunch of my friends, leading to all my mates telling me how much cooler my parents are than me, which was funny, and how they would never have considered bringing their parents to such an occasion, which made me grateful to have the family that I do.

Whilst I was responsibly bartending (shoutout to Trinity’s Safer Parties Initiative guidelines), about 10 different people I didn’t know came up and asked me if I was Callum and if those two “old people” dancing in the kitchen were my parents. I told them yes. It was pretty funny to see their jaws dropping each time.

Many thanks to everyone who made my parents’ weekend by socialising with them and — I have no idea why this was a thing, by the way —  taking pictures with them. Apparently somebody asked them “What is your country?” My parents felt like celebrities and seeing them smiling on their way out was worth the risk of potential embarrassment from having them there. Mum, Dad, if you’re reading this, I love you and would never be embarrassed by you… *wink*

But I think the strangeness of last weekend really made me appreciate how lucky I am. I’m fortunate to be here at Trinity, I’m fortunate to have the friends and teammates I do and I’m fortunate to have the family I do.

Don’t forget that your parents are real people too. Be honest and open with them. You never know, they might surprise you.