How-To Guru: Helicopter Parents

Well, it looks like family weekend came and passed without any major disasters striking the university. Sure, you’ve been humiliated by your mother’s attempt to re-decorate your apartment with strings of butterfly lights to brighten the place up and your father’s insistence on introducing you to every single professor regardless of whether you’re taking their classes or not. But hey, you got through this; you’re a survivor. So now that your helicopter parents are out of your hair — or still living in a hotel room across from the university — it’s time to make a future plan of action on how to cope with their intense love.

Before your parents enter your apartment, thoroughly search through your trash cans and dirty laundry bins for leftover remnants of sex, drugs or your Ben & Jerry’s binges. Now go ahead and sweep all of that forbidden paraphernalia under the proverbial — and literal — rug. There must be absolutely no physical evidence that you have a life, hobbies or the occasional need for self-indulgence outside of your academic studies.

Next, go on social media and erase all traces of social interaction from your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Photoshop red cups out of photos and replace with textbooks, writing utensils and calculators. Don’t forget to start spamming your social media newsfeeds with family pictures and affectionate comments about how thankful you are to be your parents’ last hope for continuing their sacred genetic lineage.

After that task is successfully completed, contact all of your casual romantic partners via Tinder, and tell them to stay as far away as possible. You are currently closed for business. For the duration of your parents’ visit you will only express interest in suitors who understand your value as a strictly marriageable prospect. When grilled by your parents about the dating scene at UCSD, sigh modestly and complain, “I’m looking for the one.”
When the family heads back home, they will be used to frequently communicating with you. Consider the following tip: Only agree to respond to their text messages 50 times a day — a maximum of 50 texts. Limiting communication is an important strategy for establishing healthy boundaries.

Now unfurl yourself from the minion onesie pajamas your mother lovingly sewed for you, and tuck it back into a leftover care package. After you finish eating its entire contents over the next few months, you’ll have to return to dining dollar food. So take a step back and return to your standard “adult” mindset. Without your parents around to do all of the adulting, you must go back to independently adulting by yourself.

And last but not least, don’t tell your parents about the visual arts classes you’re taking to follow your life-long dream of being an artist. Especially take care to avoid mentioning the nudity requirement. As far as they know, you’re still a biology major with a 4.0 GPA. As long as that illusion is never shattered, they will continue to proudly fund your college education.