By: Rose Mannas
Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, The University of San Francisco
One of the most exciting parts about going to school relatively far away is having you family come visit you. It truly does give you something to count down to! My parents come to San Francisco about once an academic year, and my sister has come twice in my three years there (once for a job interview, but still). I really look forward to each time they visit. It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or a senior- your family come to see you at school is really a treat and a great break from your usual grind.
Your parents might be interested in different things than you might think. My parents really wanted to see more of my every day life. What are the dorms like? The communal restrooms? Are the cafeteria lines really long during the school day? What are the classrooms like that you take your lesson in? When my parents came, I was much more focused on showing the city. They of course wanted to see San Francisco, but think of it this way. If you were paying thousands of dollars for someone to go to school, wouldn’t you want to focus on seeing where the money is gong?
I recommend making a game plan for your visits. Work with your family to pick things that they might enjoy while keeping in mind time for traffic, food stops, and unforeseeable problems (in SF, this is parking). It really helps to have an plan of sorts so that you are not sitting in the rental care with your parents in a parking lot trying to decide between 80 different activities. That way, you know how to tell your parents to dress, what to pack, and other necessities. For example, I knew that the things that I wanted to do in SF were mostly outdoors, so I had to prepare my parents for the Bay Area weather patterns (cold in the mornings and evenings while mild in the daytime).
I would also talk to your parents about things that you need. I save all of my Target shopping for when my parents come because they often rent a car. It is a two-bus trip for me to go to Target and I can only buy what I am willing to carry up hills and such. Parents who rent a car can help you shop for your essentials, do your grocery shopping, and do errands you have been putting off (post office, work office trip, etc.). This doesn’t mean that you have to ask your parents to pay for things, but most parents would be willing to help give you a ride as needed.
ENJOY your parents coming to see you! It may happen a lot freshman year and then taper off as you get older. This is fun for me since I plan on moving back to my hometown after graduation. It is my chance to show them how independent and confident I am living over 1,700 miles away from them. Have fun with it!