Column: Gus Bode’s top ten ways to prep for Family Weekend

By Rana Schenke and Gus Bode, Staff Reporters

So your family decided to come to visit you for family weekend. This is dangerous.

If you’re not careful, your meticulously cultivated college lifestyle could go right down the drain in a span of less than 72 hours.

Here are Gus Bode’s top ten tips to prevent Family Weekend from becoming Doomsday for your social life.


1. Clean your room.

Seriously, there is nothing that gets parents more infuriated than seeing a dirty room.

You may think things are different now that you’re not living in their house. That’s a delusion brought on by laziness and eating too many chicken nuggets at Lentz.

If going through all of your stuff is too much hassle, load all of the messiest stuff into a garbage bag and stuff it in your trunk.

If you don’t have a car, stuff it in the trash. You probably won’t miss your biology notes anyway.

2. Hide anything you bought that you don’t want your family to see.

Did you spot a great deal on a barely-used Xbox? Or did you just have to have that new pair of shoes that don’t really match anything in your closet?


If you like to collect your empty bottles for a kill shelf, it’s time to clear out. Your parents don’t want to see an empty glass reminder of your blackout on Solar Bear.

If your parents won’t approve of the way you’ve been spending your (or their) money, make sure you hide any subversive purchases made since you moved out.

You can hide them in your closet, your car or band locker. If you have a nice roommate, you can even put your stuff on their side of the room and have them pretend it’s theirs.

(Just make sure they don’t try to keep it. Looking at you, Gus.)

(Editor’s Note: Those were totally my lavender platform stilettos, Rana.)

3. Do your laundry.

No one wants to see (or smell) your sweaty gym shorts and stinky socks. It doesn’t take that long, especially since this is just for one weekend.

Plus, if you don’t look like you’re at least somewhat capable of making sure you have clean clothes to wear, your parents might decide that you aren’t capable of living on your own.

And maybe you aren’t, but they don’t have to know that.

4. Pay one or two people to hang around with you so your family doesn’t think you’re antisocial.

This is also a handy trick if you don’t want your family to meet your friends. Just pay a couple people to pretend to be them and you’ll be golden.

Just make sure they have some idea of what they’re doing. If you can get a theater student to help you out, that’s even better.

If they slip up and reveal they’re getting paid, you may even be able to pull off the “Well, at least I’m hanging out with real people! Who cares if I’m paying them?” excuse.

Works for everyone, right?

5. Take down your framed copy of “Gus Bode’s top ten ways to stay antisocial.”

(See more: Gus Bode’s top ten ways to stay antisocial)

Yes, it’s funny. Yes, you did spend money on the frame and the printing and the Command Strips.

But your carefully constructed antisocial personality will not be destroyed any faster than if your parents see this hanging on your wall.

(Editor’s note: Maybe I’m just projecting.)

6. Make sure all your homework is done.

If you try to tell your parents you can’t go to the game/take them to a local restaurant/take your siblings to free rock climbing at the rec because you have homework, they’re not going to buy it.

“I came all the way out here to see you and you can’t even make time for me,” they’ll say.

“Why did you wait to do it now?” They’ll ask.

“What do you mean you spent all your time writing articles?”

If you like feeling like a terrible son/daughter, go for it. If not, plan ahead to get your homework done or turn it in late.

7. Hide/eat all of your food stash so your parents think you’re a starving college child and buy you more.

Also, they might buy you something better than the Cheetos and chicken-flavored Ramen you’ve been sustaining on for the last month or so.

Something like Doritos and beef-flavored Ramen, for instance.

8. Whenever you see someone in the hallway, wave at them and say a name.

It doesn’t have to be the right name, but as long as you say something, it makes you look good.

Your parents will think you know everyone and that you’ve been making friends.

9. Keep your parents far away from any location where posters for activities and organizations are hanging.

Otherwise, you’ll suddenly find yourself participating in a bunch of activities and going to a bunch of events that you never wanted anything to do with.

“Mom, seriously, we don’t have to go to belly dancing classes, we just had Quatro’s.”

10. Hope your parents don’t read this article.

That will literally defeat the entire purpose of it.

So seriously, don’t let them read it.

Staff reporter Rana Schenke can be reached at

Staff mom Gus Bode can be reached at [email protected]

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