BYU students share what Father’s Day means to them

BYU students reflected on how much their fathers do for them as they prepare to celebrate away from home.

BYU pre-management major Samantha Frei said she appreciates her dad every day of the year, but Father’s Day is the one day of the year she gets to fully express it.

Samantha Frei and her father, Scott Frei, smile big as they pose for a selfie. (Samantha Frei)

“(Father’s Day) is a celebration for me of just how amazingly blessed I am to have such an amazing dad,” Frei said. “Father’s Day is an extra special day to just kind of tell him how much he means to me and how much he matters.”

Father’s Day is more than just celebrating dads, according to Frei.

“I love that it focuses on the father-daughter relationship because birthdays are one thing, but that’s like celebrating the person. Father’s Day is for celebrating (that) he’s my dad and he does all this for me, and I really love that about him,” Frei said. “He’s just amazing, and I look up to him a lot.”

Frei said Father’s Day in her home always consists of breakfast in bed, cards and singing to her dad. Her family doesn’t have many traditions and keeps things pretty low key.

Being at school changes how Frei can celebrate with her father, who lives in Minnesota, but it doesn’t change how special the day is.

“Usually I’ll call my dad and just chat with him for a little while and just tell him why I’m grateful for him,” Frei said.

BYU neuroscience major Wesley Thomas said Father’s Day is a day to reflect on what his dad has done for him.

“It’s a time that I can focus on my dad and think about all the things he’s done for me. It helps me to be a little more grateful for my dad and to recognize the different things he’s sacrificed or the different things he’s done in our upbringing because we’re looking more carefully to recognize it,” Thomas said.

Thomas said reflecting about his dad always helps him plan on how he can one day be a good dad, as well.

“It’s kind of like a day of introspection,” Thomas said.

Thomas and his family celebrate Father’s Day by making waffles. When he’s at school, though, he generally calls or Skypes his dad.

“Once I sent him one of the ‘BYU Dad’ mugs,” Thomas said.

Father’s Day is different than Mother’s Day because everyone is always showing love towards their mothers, and it can be more difficult to openly show love for fathers, according to Thomas.

“(I get) to express how much I actually care about my dad because we don’t necessarily have a relationship where you can just be like, ‘I love you,’ on a regular basis,” Thomas said. “It’s kind of fun to take a specific time to recognize that.”

BYU pre-management major Alison Steele said finding the right gift for her dad is hard.

Alison Steele and her father, Steve Steele, show off their medals after finishing a race. Alison said they love to go running together. (Alison Steele)

“My dad is actually really hard to shop for, so in regards to gifts we have to be pretty creative. I’ll be thinking about it throughout the summer, things that I’ll think he’ll like to do with his hobbies,” Steele said. “He loves to run, so we’ll get him something that has to do with that.”

Steele said her dad also loves to be outside and barbecue, even when it means making dinner on Father’s Day.

“Usually, you know, for (Mother’s Day), the mothers don’t make the dinner,” Steele said. “In my home, my dad will barbecue.”  

Steele loves that her dad is such an amazing listener.

“He’s really good about having an unbiased opinion when he listens to things that are going on in my life, and so because of that — because he’s such a good listener — I totally trust his opinion on things,” Steele said.

Father’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate all the things fathers do that go unnoticed, according to Steele.

“I look at going through high school and middle school and I feel like I didn’t really realize how much work he did and why he did it,” Steele said. “I see now that it was all for his family, and so I think Father’s Day is a cool opportunity to let him know that we appreciate what they’re doing.”

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