The Do’s and Don’ts of Saying Goodbye to your Parents

This isn’t that wave back to the minivan that dropped you off at school every year until now. There will be way more tears, way more embarrassing photo ops, and no chance for another goodbye until maybe Thanksgiving. Do make your goodbye special and don’t make your parents cry with these tips for parting ways with the ‘rents.

Do let them take a picture of you cheesin’ next to your bunk bed.

You’ll want this picture for a reminder in the future when you weigh fifteen pounds more
and your perfectly Pottery Barn-ed room looks like a real college dorm room complete with
hoarder-like quantities of Easy Mac. Your parents will cherish their last memory of you as a
child under their roof, and your future children will cherish the chance to make fun of you
for whatever you’re wearing and however you do your hair.

Do not complain about lingering parents.

Your parents fed you, taught you how to use a toilet and not stick your fingers in electrical sockets, and kept you alive up until now. Some parents will want to turn you into the adult world ASAP while others will be hesitant to leave their greatest accomplishment (as far as you are concerned) behind. You wouldn’t be here without them, so they can be around you for as long as they want.

Do guilt them into buying you lots of food.

Even though your parents’ jobs are technically done, every parent knows we still expect them to donate rations to us poor broke college kids. Make sure you get your parents to take you to dinner in town (at the nice places you won’t be able to afford on your own) and stock up your dorm with snacks for when the dining hall menu sucks.

Do not unpack any illicit materials.

Your parents are worried enough imagining you living out all of the things they did their first week of college. Don’t encourage cardiac arrest with your stash of parting gifts from your older friends. Keep the shot glasses wrapped up until the ‘rents evacuate.

Do introduce your new roommate to your parents.

Going back to the food thing, your roommate’s parents are also obligated to feed you if you and your roommate have a good relationship. Introducing your roommate to your parents is one step in creating that good relationship between your two worlds that will maximize the parent visits that end in both of you getting fed.

Do not act cool in front of your roommate.

Hug your parents. Cry with them. Let them call you childhood nicknames and call out goodbye all the way down your hall. Any roommate that judges how you say goodbye to the person or people that love you the most in the world has some major issues. Similarly, if your roommate is saying emotional goodbyes to their parents, give them some space so
they don’t feel embarrassed. You have to make this goodbye count, even if a little snot and bear hugs get involved.