Open days are one of the key factors that you need to take into consideration when making decisions about which universities you should attend. Not only do you get an in-depth look at what the course offers and what activities are available, but you can also scout out the local area too.
Many students choose to make the trip on their own or with friends, but are there benefits of bringing your parents to university open days? Let’s examine the pros and cons: should you bring your parents to your university open days?
Yes, bring them along!
- Your parents aren’t just fuddy-duddies there to spoil your fun but will be able to offer excellent advice and show you things from a different perspective that you wouldn’t have even considered. Not even your friends will have the same outlook as someone with bags of life experience, who have maybe even been to uni themselves.
- It’s a fun family day out and your parents will, of course, want to see where their beloved son or daughter is going to be spending the next few years away from them. It may even make it easier for them to cut the apron strings when the time comes for you to fly the nest.
- Many university open days now have parental talks around subjects like financing which will prove invaluable if they are going to help you organise loans, and decide how much to support you. This means you still get time on your own anyway when they’re preoccupied.
They are going to be an excellent sounding board for you, answering all of your questions or pointing you in the right direction when it comes to things like welfare and accommodation.
- If you don’t drive yet but are looking to attend a university far from home, having your parents drive you means you don’t have to shell out on train or bus fares there or back. Plus it gives you more time to look around without checking your watch for the last train home.
- Some special talks and events will have long queues. A top tip is to get mum or dad to stand in the line while you have a browse around other stalls and get the most out of every minute!
- Your parents can take notes of the important things you discover and even make a pros and cons list for you as you wander around various open days. They can even help you to choose the right open day for you in the first place.
- You will feel more relaxed that you can spend the day there – as long as you want with no rush – because your parents may even opt for a hotel so you can all discover the area more together. You can eat together and discuss the day’s events.
No, leave them at home!
- The first point here is that parents will maybe cramp your style. You’ll see lots of independent students walking around and you may feel a little uneasy and even embarrassed that you have the folks in tow.
- Some parents can ‘helicopter’ and be overbearing, offering advice you don’t want to hear or believe to be irrelevant in this day and age.
- If your parents aren’t too thrilled about you studying far from home, or have safety concerns about you being a young single woman, they’re more than likely going to find every negative point they can – and constantly remind you about it.
- They may want to dominate the affair, controlling where you go, what you see and what you do – all the time thinking they’re just ‘helping’. This can be off-putting and distracting.
Open days are mostly geared towards young students, and there will be large crowds there where your parents themselves may feel uncomfortable – like being in the middle of a rock concert.
- You and your parents probably won’t see eye to eye on a lot of the issues facing students, and subconsciously may offer advice contrary to your best interests in light of their own beliefs and values.
- Your parents may work full-time hours and could feel pressured or not even able to take time off for three, four or five different university open days in such a short time span – even though they may want to support you. The sooner you book your open day, the sooner they can put in for time off with their work.
As you can see there are many things to consider when choosing whether or not to bring your parents to your open days. If you decide against bringing them, there’s always the option of going with a relative such as a fun aunt, cool uncle or older sibling who will likely be more laidback than mum or dad.