A Guide to Surviving First-Year Family Weekend Without Your Family

By Annika Kouhia | 5/7/17 11:34am

Yikes! You looked at your iCal on Friday to check out the fun and exciting events offered this weekend by the College to try and distract yourself from the Frats™, and you were hit by two realizations: (1) it’s First-Year Family Weekend here at Dartmouth, and (2) your family is definitely not going to be here. Maybe they’re busy, maybe they just can’t get to our convenient location in the middle of the woods or maybe you just “forgot” to tell them about it — whatever the excuse is, it doesn’t really matter. All you know is that soon there will be hundreds of moms, dads, siblings, guardians, grandparents and potentially-your-aunt-because-that’s-what-you-call-her-but-you-don’t-actually-think-you’re-related running around campus, eager to experience the wholesome and pure lives their lil’ babies have created for themselves at college. But what will you possibly do this weekend sans family? Never fear, children, for I shall walk you through your potential options:

Get adopted!

Maybe this weekend is your chance to find your forever family <3. Yeah, you have those biological goons back at home, but for this weekend you can be part of whatever family you want. Who says you don’t get to choose your family? Maybe you tag along with your roommate and her parents to their impressive agenda of ~sophisticated~ brunches and ~outdoorsy~ activities. Maybe you tag along with your trippee’s family, since you know his dad is just going to be straight #boolin in TDX, reliving his glory days the entire time. Maybe you tag along with the girl your chem lab partner’s roommate’s trip leader hooked up with for like five seconds freshman fall because you heard her family is eating every meal at Simon Pierce. This weekend is your oyster! Also, you have the added bonus of being able to #skrrt out whenever tensions get high. When dinner conversation turns to the apparent slip in your adopted sibling’s GPA after the frat ban was lifted, fake a phone call from biological mom and leave. You can cut these ties as soon as you need to, but hopefully you get your fill on familial love, Molly’s bread and the crushing weight of parental expectations we all need to experience every once in a while.

Paramount Pictures via giphy.com

Ball out while pretending to be an upperclassman

’20? No, no, you’re definitely a ’19. Or maybe an ’18. Or maybe even a rogue ’16 who’s just back to relive the glory of your college dayz. Don’t say you’re a ’17 though — it’s too difficult to pull off that much swag unless you can perfectly master the checked-out-but-still-kind-of-invested look. And just how will you possibly convince the upperclassmen that you are one of them? Simple. Talk about how funny and confused the ’20s still are (smh, freshmen am I right?), lament or praise the X and how much social capital you are losing and/or gaining each day and casually drop hints that you’re suupppeerrrr close with the Goldman rep on campus this week. If ever confronted with a question you don’t know how to answer, revert immediately to talking about “the good old days” when we still had Alpha Delta, hard alcohol and Morton (RIP). Once you’ve established your role as a sick econ frat/srat bro, ball out! Go to all of the darties and evening ragers that your friends wish they could go to but can’t because their parents are still concerned that they are going to become alcoholics since they found out that Dartmouth’s unofficial mascot is a large (and lovable) keg. This is your weekend to RAGE. Go rage for those of us who cannot. Be the scene you want to see in the world.

Alex Williamson via giphy.com

Offer Your Services

Seeing your family is always wonderful, but extended family time can be problematic. Your friends unfortunately may have problem sets due Sunday night, and obviously they need some hardcore library time to finish it up, or maybe they need a quick nap to recuperate from the wholesome and fun family activities they’ve been involved in or maybe they want to go one of the darties and just get completely plastered. Each and every need is totally valid. Now is your chance to help your friends in their time of need! Take the place of your friend for a few hours and entertain their families. Sit with them on the Green, talk to them about your classes and interests or maybe walk them through the basement of TDX to show them the true essence of what Dartmouth is all about. Just make sure not to bring up any controversial topics, including, but not limited to: politics, religion, Cornell University, alternative social spaces and the time you had to Good Sam their child.

White House Archives via giphy.com

Pull a Dwight Schrute

Remember that episode of “The Office”where Dwight talks about booking tons of reservations on Valentine’s Day and then selling them off to desperate couples looking for a place to eat for dinner? If you do remember, good job — you are truly a stand up member of society. If you don’t remember because you watched “The Office” too long ago, I have some pity for you and seriously advise you to re-watch ASAP —  but you’re okay, I guess. If you have no idea what I’m talking about because you haven’t watchedThe Office,”I’m going to have to ask you to stop reading this. I don’t write for people who don’t enjoy true art. Anyways, my pure and upright readers, now is your chance to make Dwight’s dream your reality. Book every table at Pine and every room in the Hanover Inn. While you’re at it, you might as well call in for every table at Canoe Club, Murphy’s, Market Table and even Jesse’s. When stressed and pressured families come looking for food and shelter, offer up one of your extra bookings, but for a slightly raised price. You could be tutoring for $12 an hour, or you could sell the last table for three at Pine on Friday night for half of the school’s endowment. Your choice.

NBC via giphy.com

Prank Your Friends (or Enemies)

Everyone loves a good laugh, right? Le duhhh, of course they do! So why not bring some innocent jocularity to Parents’ Weekend? Start off some meaningful conversations that will surely end in joyous fun by mentioning some funny comments or questions to your friends as you see them walking arm and arm with their dad through Blobby or sharing KAF with their mom on the Green. Suggested prompts include:


-       “Hey [insert name of friend, enemy, or casual frat basement acquaintance]! Congrats on being chlamydia-free!! Thank god for antibiotics, am I right?”

-       “Hey there! So sorry about chem and CS in the winter. Guess we can’t all pass more than one class a term.”

-       “So glad I ran into you! Been meaning to make sure you’ll have more of the good good for me by this weekend, if you know what I mean!” *winks*

-       “You look so much better than the last time I saw you! No offense, but passed out surrounded by Safety and Security in the corner of the GDX basement is NOT a good look for you!”

-       “Heard you finished your last of The Seven this weekend, dude!! Congrats, you are such a sick econ frat bro!”

Lol, am I right? Just so funny. They’ll love it. Nothing like rogue rumors about sex, drugs and alcohol to create meaningful family memories. If that’s not what First-Year Family Weekend is about, I don’t know what is.

20th Television via giphy.com

Annika Kouhia