Next weekend gives chance to show off self
It’sÂ October and that can (obviously) mean only one thing: Trojan Family Weekend. What has become your sanctuary from parental supervision â the place where you can go wild on the weekends and barely survive the workweek â will now be infiltrated by mothers, fathers and whomever else wants to tag along.
Whether youâre from out of state or the ârents are just coming down the 405 Freeway, this weekend is a big deal. Youâll have to prove to your parents that youâre actually managing to function on your own, without their watchful eye and expert guidance.
Somehow, between the time that you graduated high school and the minute you stepped on campus, you underwent a transformation: That awkward, irresponsible kid your parents once knew blossomed into an overachieving, socially acceptable college success story. Now is your chance to show off.
Preparing for the inevitable inspection of your residence is essential. Unless youâre an abnormality who actually wouldnât be embarrassed if your parents saw the natural state of your room, itâs time to get down to business.
Aside from the heavy cleaning that your bedroom, kitchen and bathroom will receive, you have to hide the extensive alcohol and condom stash, clean out your fridge and actually do some laundry. Equally important is removing any random articles of clothing lying around that arenât yours; trying to explain this is a subject thatâs more trouble than itâs worth. The Friday afternoon parent and student seminar, âRelationships and Hooking Up,â was cancelled for a reason.
Strategically lay out a few open books, making it seem as if you study whenever possible. This will at least partially alleviate the constant parental fear that their son or daughter isnât doing his or her schoolwork. Now that youâre in college, this fear is probably not unfounded â but appearances must be kept up if you want this visit to go smoothly.
As for scheduled events on campus, you will never be lacking in an activity to engage your parents and make them feel more informed about your university experience. There are events occurring from Thursday to Sunday that cater to every interest possible. An event calendar is available online for any planning you and your parents wish to do, but keep in mind that they are all part of a registered weekend program that must be done in advance.
President C. L. Max Nikias makes his annual Address to Trojan Families on Friday at 1 p.m. in Bovard Auditorium â definitely an event that shouldnât be missed by visitors.
Tailgating at the football game against Colorado will also be another highlight of the weekend. Football games are an integral part of the USC experience and even if your parents are Coliseum regulars, itâs still a great bonding opportunity for a Trojan family.
The suggestions page for what to do in Los Angeles on the website for Trojan Family Weekend is surprisingly well-equipped. There are some standard options, such as the Santa Monica Pier and Griffith Observatory, but also some lesser-known attractions that are fun as well, such as Downtownâs Olvera Street â where you can display your lower-division Spanish language proficiency at Mr. Churro â or the live but suburban charms of Old Town Pasadena.
Finding places to take your family is primarily a worry for students who arenât from the immediate area, but if you really want to impress your family, showing them offbeat L.A. spots as opposed to common tourist destinations will show off your expert assimilation into the Los Angeles community. And even if your family is from Southern California, pre-planned non-campus activities are nice ways to re-connect with family members away from the academic environment of school.
The friend dinner is a staple of Parents Weekend. When your family visits, they will undoubtedly want to meet the new, amazing people youâve met since you left home â which means you must carefully select who you choose to bring to dinner. Nowâs the time to leave your drug-addled, drunken friends behind and bring forth the studious, extracurricular-obsessed pals you met during class.
In all seriousness, though, the friends you introduce to your family will say a lot about how youâve been spending your time at college. Friends, in any situation, are a reflection upon some aspect of your own character, so keep this in mind when selecting the group that will accompany you and your family to dinner.
Having your family visit you at college can be stressful. It might feel like an intrusion on the life youâve created away from home, or you might worry that your parents will only question you about your future career and what youâre doing with all that free time. But itâs also important to treat this weekend as an opportunity to allow your parents to view you as an adult, as someone capable of surviving â dare we say thriving â away from home.
Nick Cimarusti is a junior majoring in English and Spanish. His column âGet Schooledâ runs Mondays.