Dos and Don’ts of a successful visit from your parents


Hide your bottles, hide your grades and hide your new tattoo, because you parents are coming to Champaign for the weekend.

Parent visits at school are bittersweet — it is exciting to see them for the first time in months, but sometimes the college life isn’t as appropriate as parents would like to think it is. It can be hard to think of places to go and things to do when they visit when you are on edge of what crazy shenanigans could happen next on campus.

There is a very fine line between the dos and don’ts when it comes to parents visiting the University for the weekend. Here are a few that are important to remember.

DO: Clean your room before your parents come.

It is almost inevitable that they will enter your room at some point. Whether you live in the dorms, in your sorority or fraternity house or an apartment, try to spiff up your living space for just a few days. They don’t want to see your empty bottles, fast food wrappers and dirty laundry covering every inch of your floor. Having a clean room will make your parents feel that you are more responsible and put together than you might actually be. Plus, your mom will probably just nag your ear off until you clean it anyway, so you might as well just do it before she arrives.

DO: Bring your parents to the Quad.

The Quad is arguably the most beautiful part of campus. You can show them all the buildings you attend class in, the Illini Union, and all the fun students have playing frisbee and other activities on the grass.

DO: Introduce your parents to your closest friends.

At this time in our lives, the people we are best friends with now will most likely be a part of our lives for a long time, if not forever. It is important to introduce your parents to the people who take care of you when you’re sick, keep you in control on crazy nights out, pick you up when you’re feeling down and will continue to keep doing these things far into your future. You may want to warn your friends in advance though, so they are dressed and behaving in a manner that your parents will approve of.

DO: Go out.

Whether it is to a football game, an on-campus bar or a restaurant in downtown Champaign, make sure you take your parents out. Show them that the University has a good balance between academics and fun social events. Parents enjoy seeing a college sports game and reminiscing on college memories at a bar with their kid. Just make sure if you do go to one of the bars, neither you nor your parents get too crazy.

DO: Make your parents take you shopping.

Food, clothes and other college necessities can be expensive, and taking the bus to Target or the Market Place Mall takes way too long. Have your parents drive you to your favorite store so you can get everything you need. If you’re lucky, they’ll pay for your stuff too.

DON’T: Bring your parents down frat row. 

Although some Greek houses keep their houses and properties clean, some of them look like they have not been cleaned in years. Most chapter houses on campus are scattered, but you know which ones look well kept and which look like no one has lived in there for ten years. Try to keep your parents away from any Greek houses that show a little too much partying that goes and that catcall at every girl that walks by. Accent the ones that make our University proud to be one of the largest Greek communities in the nation.

DON’T: Bring your parents out to eat on Green Street. 

Unless they specifically ask to go somewhere on Green Street, go somewhere else. Go off campus. When parents visit, it’s not just all about them, its about you too. You’ve eaten at these restaurants a hundred times. Treat your parents and yourself to a nice dinner downtown or anywhere off campus that you normally would never go to.

DON’T: Go to the bars too late at night.

It is acceptable to bring your parents to a bar on campus. Most parents enjoy it. But as students, we do not want our parents to see what goes down at the bars late at night. Even worse, we do not want our parents doing the things we see go down at the bars late at night. A nice drink with your parents can turn into a weird, creepy experience real fast.

DON’T: Bring them to a frat party.

There is absolutely no place for them there. Just no.

DON’T: Tell your parents all the party details.

Don’t tell them that you blacked out at 10 p.m. and threw up on your best friend’s shoes last weekend. Don’t point out the frat that you left your shoes at because you were too much of a hot mess to walk home in your heels. There are details your parents never want to hear, and there should be stories that you never want them to learn about.

Parent visits should be an exciting and enjoyable time. As long as you know the basics of what to do and what not to do when they visit campus, their stay at the University should be a great experience.

Christine is a sophomore in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]