I just made my first visit to a friend’s school, and thankfully we thought ahead about basics she might not have at college (not having extra blankets, for instance) but I’ve seen some people be less than lucky when visiting friends.
Here are some things that you will want to be sure to think about before you get to your friend’s campus (or before they get here!)
1. Do you need to fill out a form to have a visitor? Here at WOU the answer is yes! You’ll have to fill out a small piece of paper and turn it in to your RA, but it’s no biggie. It’s supposed to be turned in at least 24 hours before you have a guest, but if someone makes a surprise visit be considerate and fill it out anyway: most RA’s will be thankful for the heads-up.
2. Do you (or they) have a roommate? Of course you should take into consideration anybody living with you, to be respectful, but also to make sure you have places to go with your guest if your roommate needs sleep, study time, or happens to also have a guest over! Try to keep your guest’s things in a confined space, and encourage them to keep it cleaned up.
3. Consider sleeping arrangements! Are you currently roommate-less? Lucky you, you’ll have an extra bed. Throw on that extra set of sheets you have, and you’re set! If you’re like most of us, you should consider telling your guest to bring a sleeping bag or extra sheets: or you might be forced to squeeze two to a very small twin bed.
4. How will they be eating while they’re here? Will you be paying with your handy-dandy meal plan? Or will they need to bring cash? Let your guest know ahead of time if they should be preparing to pay for their own food, just as a courtesy! On the other hand, if you’re visiting and you’re not sure, bring money just in case. Try to avoid assuming someone else is going to pay for you.
5. So they’re here…now what? If the school you’re visiting is anywhere near the size of WOU, that all-day tour you planned might just take 10 minutes…so when that’s over, what are you going to do? If you’re close with your hall-mates, games in the fishbowl might be a good idea! Be sure to check ahead of time what events will be happening on campus, as well. You can do this on the main WOU site page, around campus or here, the school’s event page. Think about things to do around the city, as well! As far as Monmouth goes, there isn’t much. But a trip to the Cinebarre in Salem is well worth-while, or even walking around Independence. If you look hard enough in any city you’ll find a ton of fun activities.
6. Last but not least, what are they going to do when you’re in class? Sometimes the only time people can come to visit is during the week. But you don’t want them to be bored out of their mind while you’re gone for six hours of classes a day. If you have early morning classes, you can probably count on them sleeping in. If your classes are in the middle of the day, do you have a computer they can access to watch TV or get some work done? (Be sure to leave passwords!) Remember that they won’t have a key, so unless you or your roommate is there to let them back in, leaving isn’t the best option. They could take a walk around Monmouth, or write poetry in the Grove…be creative, just don’t leave them wishing they hadn’t come!
Visiting friends can be a lot of fun, but if you don’t plan well enough it can also end up being a waste of time. So think ahead, ask questions, and have fun!
By Quinn Murphy