Art by Vivian Hsia
For many years, the question, “Who’s playing at Waves Weekend this year?” has been a common one in my family. What started as a simple inquiry for me turned into a running joke, as I asked over and over again, every year, who would be the star performer.
Clearly, before I was even a student, I was a fan of Waves Weekend.
My first Waves Weekend was in 2014 when I visited my sister during her first year at Pepperdine. I sported my Pepperdine sweatshirt the whole weekend and followed my sister and all of her friends around — thinking I was very cool.
My sister didn’t seem to want to take part in all of the Waves Weekend activities, but my dad and I thought there wasn’t a better way to spend our time. We had to make the most of it.
I remember a few of the activities, but nothing was as memorable to me as Saturday night — the night of the concert.
Plain White T’s opened, singing their classics “Rhythm of Love” and “Hey There Delilah,” as the sun set on Alumni Park. Andy Grammar then took the stage, performing “Honey I’m Good” while overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I remember telling my mom we just had to move to the front of the crowd for that one.
This moment was my idea of perfection, and the Waves Weekend concert became my favorite family tradition. Even if we didn’t go every year, I was always invested in who was playing.
I even wrote about my love for Waves Weekend in my college application — stating I wanted to come to Pepperdine to sing along to a performer with my friends and family on Alumni at my own Waves Weekend concert.
Last year, I experienced my first Waves Weekend as a student, and the same joy came right back to me. I got to watch it from the eyes of a reporter as I covered the weekend for the Graphic — a very full circle moment for me, as I was doing what I loved, at a school I loved, on a weekend I adored.
I will say, it was missing one very vital part — the concert. Why don’t we have my beloved Waves Weekend concert anymore?
I have been blaming it on the pandemic, but now I am getting slightly concerned it will not be back for my senior year next year.
I do love the Worship Summit and the Pacific Sounds Music and Art Festival, but these events just aren’t the same — no families wandering about, no students introducing their families to their new friends and, of course, probably not any little sisters standing on Alumni in awe of their future school.
Waves Weekend to me is more than just a concert, more than the free food and more than Blue & Orange Madness.
It’s a chance to reconnect with family and friends and bring the people you love to the places you love. It’s a chance to show your family what makes Pepperdine special for you.
For me, it was a chance to go visit my older sister and make memories at a place that would become my future home.
If you’re on the fence about Waves Weekend this year — go and make the most of it. Soak up a few more cheesy activities, ride the ferris wheel with your family or friends and cheer on the Waves during all of the sporting events throughout the weekend.
You might make a few new memories, and, along the way, you might convince a few more little siblings that Pepperdine is their home.
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Contact Abby Wilt via Twitter (@abby_wilt) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org