Best of College Blogger Advice: How to Stay Sane When Your Parents Visit

For the month of February, we'll be sharing our "Best of College Blogger Advice," with you to help you navigate the sometimes murky waters of pre-College, life in College and dealing with parents, relationships, and friendships, and of course advice to keep you fashionable through all phases of your College Career. Have some topics you'd like us to go over? Comment below or e-mail

So you go away to college and you’re finally on your own…until Mom and Dad come to visit. Suddenly, all that independence disappears, and you feel like you have to play by their rules again.  Rather than letting yourself get sucked into some restricted (not to mention resentful) trap, take charge now and plan ahead. You can still have fun with your folks if you establish a schedule of activities that will keep them busy and you sane!

Give Them a Personal Tour

They love you and want to know EVERY LITTLE DETAIL about your new life, so bring your parents around campus and show them exactly how you spend your day.  Take them to your classes, your favorite restaurant or café you regularly eat at, personal hangout spots, and even get them passes to your gym.  Some colleges even designate a ‘Parent’s Weekend,’ so check your school website to see what events are available.

Plan a Day Around a School Event

Do your parents love football? Find out how to get tickets and arrange your own family tailgate. Are they really into art and music? Research upcoming on-campus concerts and art exhibits. However you plan your day, it's important that you get Mom and Dad involved. Whether it's cooking burgers on the grill with your dad in the school parking lot, or doing an architectural tour with your mom, it's important that you make sure they feel less like guests and more like extended members of your personal posse.

Create a Special Activity With Each Parent

You may love your parents equally, but even Mom and Dad appreciate a little one-on-one time. Try to come up with some stuff to do with each parent. You might want to relax with your mom at a local spa, or take your dad to nearby bar or pub to grab a burger and listen to some live music. Whatever you plan, make sure it's on equal footing. Both your parents will appreciate the time and energy you put into planning everything.

Use This Time to Attack Your To-Do List

Ever heard of Empty Nest Syndrome? Well, there's a pretty good chance one or both your parents are suffering from it. Your mom and dad still want to feel needed (beyond a checkbook), so use this time to get their opinions on everything from redecorating your dorm room, to assembling that new bookcase you haven't had time to tackle. They'll appreciate you asking for their input, and  more than likely both of them will jump at the chance to take you shopping, help you move your room around, and basically stock you up with all the essentials you need to survive until their next visit.

Just remember that your parents are only visiting for a limited period.  In order for them to enjoy their time with you, you need to relax, be flexible, and open yourself up to compromise.  Don’t ditch them to hang out with your friends, and try to get your schoolwork done ahead of time.  If you plan accordingly, spending time with your parents might not be so bad after all!

By Desiree Murphy

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!