Family Comes to Town: The Perks of Having Visitors

Many of you probably came to college looking to get away from your over protective parents, annoying siblings, or that one aunt or uncle you just can’t stand. However, after being away from home for a while, family will inevitably want to come visit you, meet your friends, and see if your keeping your dorm room somewhat clean. I’m sure you have a million things you would rather do than show your family around campus, but if your family wants to visit you, let them! Sure it can be a hassle, (do I really have to make my bed?) but it is definitely worth the cleaning frenzy you’ll go into after receiving a text that says, “We’re here!”

Rarely will family members visit without bringing you food. In fact it should be a rule in all dorm rooms; “Must bring food upon entrance.” Whether it’s a haul from the grocery store, or some fresh baked cookies, all food should be welcomed with open arms (and mouths). As college students are hardworking individuals, we always need something to munch on throughout all that studying (or Netflix watching). You’re going to be glad you have Grandma’s famous homemade brownies to snack on while typing a paper at 2 am that you completely forgot about. “Oh, you have brownies? I think we just became best friends.” Is there any better way to bond with your hallmates than over food? No. If you want to instantly make new friends, share your food with people, they will love you. Someone in my hall left pieces of cake outside their room with a sign saying “Free Cake!” Say no more, I instantly like you. Talk about a day maker. Next time they are blasting music, I’ll remember that they gave me free cake, and suddenly their music won’t seem so loud. Always appreciate free food.

If you still haven’t called up your family and asked them to come visit, there is another fantastic benefit of having visitors. They will almost always take you out to eat. MORE FREE FOOD! Now, how could anybody ever think that family coming to visit could be bad?! For a broke college kid, a free meal means everything. Take this opportunity to show them your favorite restaurant around town. Rocco’s, Papa Vino’s, O’Rourkes, whatever it is, show them that good old South Bend has more to offer than just Notre Dame football and unpredictable weather. Show them your favorite spot and enjoy the free meal, because you are definitely not getting anything like that in the dining hall.

If all this free food still doesn’t have you on the phone inviting Aunt Sally to come down for the day, here is one more bonus: money. Every college student is constantly thinking about how broke they are, and relatives are bound to sneak you a little something when you least expect it. I know accepting money can be a very awkward scenario and a back and forth of “oh you really don’t need to do that,” but your family wants to make sure you have some extra spending money. They don’t need to know that it might be paying for your late night Taco Bell, or your cab ride to a huge off campus party, but then again, maybe that’s exactly why they gave it to you. Either way, if your family comes to town and slips you some money, you should be grateful. Now you’ve got the extra cash to buy that last book for one of your classes, or get those shoes you just have to have, or just put in the bank like the smart college kid you are.

All in all, your family loves you and they genuinely want to come see you. They want to see how you’ve decorated your room, meet all your friends and tell them embarrassing stories about you. That’s what family is for, right? Aside from the food and money, (thanks mom!) family comes to visit because they miss their “little baby.” So when they’re really missing you, let them come and spend some time with you. Let them take you out to eat and buy you that shirt at the bookstore and slip you that twenty-dollar bill. Appreciate it, and enjoy a little piece of home, because once they are gone you are back on your own. And now that you know everything that can come out of a family visit, you can bid them goodbye with an enthusiastic, “Feel free to come anytime!”


Therese Burke is a Saint Mary's College contributor to Her Campus Notre Dame.