For many of you whippersnapper college students (I’ve always wanted to say that), having your parents visit you at school is an excuse to show off how cool and sophisticated you’ve become since graduating high school. For the rest of you, it’s a sorry excuse to actually clean your dorm room so that your parents don’t find your stash of cheap liquor and drug paraphernalia. Either way, there are some important things to keep in mind when your parents visit so that you can make the best of the experience and avoid a familial meltdown.
Tell Your Friends Your Parents Are Coming
It’s good to let your friends know when your parents are visiting because, unless your friends are characters directly out of a scene from Animal House, you’ll probably want your parents to meet them. Seeing as you’ll spend the next four years of your life seeing your college friends more often than you see your parents anyway, it’ll be good for them to become familiar with the deviants who will slowly corrupt you.
As for significant others, only introduce them to your parents if it’s serious – nothing is more awkward than having to introduce last week’s three-night-stand to Mom and Dad.
Clean Your Room (Obviously!)
This one is pretty obvious, but there’s nothing that’ll make you think of your parents quite like incessantly repeating what you already know, right?
Give Your Parents A Campus Tour
Even if your parents have visited campus before (such as when you first visited your school or during move-in day), it’s sometimes good to give them a more in-depth tour than what campus tour guides have done. You can provide more specific details about aspects of campus that are relevant to you, like your classrooms or your favorite study space or the elevator you got stuck in for two hours when you were hungover on a Sunday morning.
Your parents will expect you to entertain them 24/7 when they’re visiting, so try to get your schoolwork done in advance so that you’re not super backed up on Sunday afternoon after they leave. We all know that trying to get started on a ten-page paper just isn’t going to happen when your mother starts nagging you about whether she should friend your freshman roommate on Facebook. If you can, try to get as much work as you can in the week before their arrival.
Find Things To Do With Your Family On Campus
In lieu of having to entertain your parents, look up in advance what events are going on during the weekend of their visit. Most schools will have various sports games, theater/dance performances, or concerts happening over the course of the weekend and it’ll probably be beneficial for you to find something to do with them instead of simply sitting in your tiny dorm room and chatting about your classes for seven hours straight.
Also, don’t worry about not being able to go out with your friends on Friday and Saturday night – chances are, your parents won’t want to stay on campus past ten p.m., so you can get properly obliterated after they leave. Just be prepared to explain why you’d rather not meet them at 8 a.m. for breakfast the next morning.
Pick a Restaurant
One of the best parts of having your parents visit is the free meal. Scope out good restaurants in advance and make a reservation somewhere so that you’re not clambering at the last minute for some better-than-terrible food.
It’s also good to take advantage of your parents’ arrival by going food shopping. Hopefully, your month at college has taught you the art of bullshitting to the point where you can easily convince your mom that you absolutely need to get those Double Stuf Oreos.