Elizabeth Manning/Editorial Illustrator

Family Weekend is finally here. It’s a time when students get to take a little break after midterms and have a piece of home come to them. This could be the dose of happiness you’ve been waiting for, or, if you’re unprepared, the most stressful weekend of the semester. Here are Release’s five tips to ensure that quality time with mom and dad runs smoothly.

1) Know when your family is coming.

Although this may seem obvious, you and the people you live with should know what time your parents are arriving. The last thing your parents want is to have to sit around and wait for you to shower. And the last thing you want is to have your dad walk in on your roommate’s shirtless boyfriend. Keep in mind that not everyone’s parents are coming, so a timely reminder for everyone to be on their best behavior won’t hurt.

2) Clean before they get there.

If your parents are neat freaks, forgetting to clean your room for Family Weekend will be all you hear about for the next three days. Be sure to leave yourself enough time to thoroughly clean and organize your stuff. Also, make sure to hide anything you don’t want your parents to find. If you know your mom is going to want to wash and put away your laundry, your pants drawer is not the place for that giant, nearly empty bottle of Svedka. Opt for the floor behind your drawers instead.

3) Try a new place for dinner, and make reservations if possible.

Instead of going to a chain restaurant that your family could easily go to at home, show them what Binghamton has to offer and go local. Everyone and their mother (literally) will be trying to go to Lost Dog, and they do not accept reservations. Either plan to wait, or go somewhere like The Colonial that does accept reservations. Check out Release’s restaurant reviews and find a place everyone in your family will enjoy. Also, order something gigantic so you have leftovers.

4) Take advantage of your parents’ love, money and car.

It’s not often that your parents will come to visit, so make the most of it by having them re-stock your room. Drag them to Wegmans and have them get everything you’re too broke to buy yourself, and in quantities too large to fit on the bus. Get a semester’s worth of toiletries so you never have to choose between buying beer or shaving cream. This is your moment to be as needy as possible. Your parents drove to see you and by the time they get here, they’ll be excited to smother you in love and groceries.

5) Do whatever your family wants.

There are two types of families on Family Weekend: the kind that printed the itinerary and circled every little thing they want to do, and the family that wants to bring you back to their hotel so you can all stare at each other for a few hours before getting dinner. Whichever type your family is, do whatever makes them happy. They’re probably more excited about this experience than you are, and would appreciate it if you could get through it without the “I’m so college that I’m too good for my family” attitude. You may feel like an adult, but you are still — and always will be — someone’s child.