1. Your dorm room
“I don’t want to show my parents my dorm room! It’s a pigsty!” Exactly, my friend. It most certainly is. And when your parents see that, they will be hit by an uncontrollable impulse to clean — and not in the way you clean, which mostly involves hiding as much as you can underneath your bed. No, this is your chance for an all-out makeover, the chance to finally see your floor again. Don’t blow it.
2. Your favorite breakfast spot
After your parents have cleaned your room, they are more than likely to be a bit famished. Remedy that by taking them to your favorite breakfast spot. And no, that does not mean O’Hill. Find that little diner you liked that one time but could never afford to visit again and indulge. And because this weekend is truly about your parents, let them pay. It’s what they want to do, I promise.
3. The Mall
The Downtown Mall is a beautiful, quaint collection of shops and restaurants that allows visitors to both immerse themselves in the Charlottesville scene while also spending tons of money. But you might be better served by taking your parents to an actual mall because you’ve lost six pairs of socks in the dryer, and it's only going to get colder from here. And remember — if they ask, you left your credit card in the dorms.
4. Your favorite (tacky chain) lunch spot
If you took my advice and went to the mall, you’re now a good distance outside of downtown Charlottesville. According to my estimates, you’re likely surrounded by strip malls and tacky chain restaurants — and that’s exactly where you want to be. You’ve been craving Applebee’s for two months, but haven’t had the car — or the credit card — to make it a reality. You don’t even like Applebee’s that much, but that is irrelevant at this point. You’ve committed.
5. Skyline Drive
The night before your parents landed in town, you likely spent five hours in the basement of Alderman studying for a biology quiz you know you aren’t going to pass anyway. You probably haven’t felt fresh air for days, weeks or months. Get in the car with your family and spend the afternoon in the mountains — you’ll appreciate the sight of trees, and your parents will appreciate not having to take out their wallet every five minutes.
6. Your favorite dinner spot
It may seem like half of this list involves trying to get your parents to pay for your food. It seems like that because it’s true. But this time, it is about more than taking advantage of your parents financially — it is about survival. You just completed a 1.5 mile loop on Skyline Drive, and if you don’t have a porterhouse soon, you might literally die.
7. That weird mole on your leg that you’re concerned about but too lazy to get looked at
Even if your parents aren’t doctors, an additional pair of eyes or two can’t hurt. You know it’s sort of an awkward request, but it seems to be getting bigger, and that’s making you nervous.
8. The Rotunda
Now that you’ve made your parents pay for three meals, clean your dorm room, take you shopping and examine a (hopefully benign) mole, reward them with a sight of this University landmark. As an expression of generosity, let them take a couple of pictures with you for free before you start charging.
9. Some good old-fashioned football
Even more integral to the reputation of the University than the iconic Rotunda is our football team! Kick back and watch the game with your folks — no matter how bad the score turns out, at least you’ll get to see a man ride in on a live horse.
10. Some love
They deserve it. If your parents are anything like mine, they had to make the tough choice between watching a “Law & Order” rerun and visiting you. It wasn’t an easy decision for them to make, but nonetheless, you need to thank them for choosing you. After all, deep down, they miss you. And you miss them too.