Mom and Dad Go to College

The Art of the Campus Visit

Now that you and your child are living in separate residences, maintaining strong, consistent communication is crucial. This does not necessitate constant calling, texting, emailing, or campus visits. Moderation is key, especially when it comes to campus visits.

It is difficult to navigate and live independently when Mom and Dad are constantly at the doorstep. We’re not saying campus visits are forbidden; however, personal visits require advanced planning. Here are some suggestions for not only when to go but what to do and how long to stay.

Visiting on Parents’ Weekend vs. Visiting Any Other Time

Most schools schedule a Parents’ Weekend at the beginning of each semester, after students have had sufficient time to settle into their classes and living quarters but before the stress of midterms. This visiting time is optimal because you will not have to plan much besides transportation and book a hotel; the college institution provides all else when it comes to tours, faculty and staff networking, alumni brunches, and athletic events. If you plan on visiting outside this time, you will be responsible for the itinerary, which can be difficult for freshman and parents who’re unfamiliar with the campus and its vicinity.

What to Do, What to Bring and How Long to Stay

Your trip to campus depends on factors such as the school’s location, the weather, and your child’s availability. It would not be ideal to visit two weeks after your child moves in because they’ll still be getting acclimated to their classes and roommates; you also shouldn’t plan a trip during finals week when your child is stressfully studying for finals and winter weather is adverse. So you may ask: when? And for how long? And what should you bring with you?

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Last Reviewed: October 2020