Picture yourself on a typical campus in College Town, U.S.A.
Mom: Hi! We’re here, sorry! We got caught up in traffic. Then the GPS took us the wrong way, and I had to slow down beca–
Mom: Sorry, sorry! Well, we’re here for the 10:30 tour.
Secretary: (fake smiling) Well, the group already began the tour, but let me see if we have any tour guides around to give you one! In the meantime, if you wouldn’t mind having your daughter fill out this information form, it will help us get a better idea about you.
(Mother and daughter go sit down, daughter fills out form)
Mom: You know, I really like the feel of this school.
Daughter: Mom, we’ve been here for, like, three seconds.
Mom: I know, but this is all so exciting! You’re gonna be my college girl!
(Daughter rolls eyes as secretary returns with a yawning girl trailing behind her)
Secretary: This is Melissa. She’s a senior and she will give you a tour this morning.
Mom: Oh, hello! Well, let’s not waste any more time!
Daughter: Mom, please stop talking.
Secretary: Let me know if you, um, have any issues.
(Melissa leads family outside of admissions)
Mom: Well, Melissa, you must be excited to be a senior.
Melissa: You have to be joking.
Mom: What are your plans after graduation?
Melissa: Crying. And drinking. And more crying.
Melissa: So, do y’all have any questions?
Mom: Oh TONS! Where do I–
Melissa: Oh, that was rhetorical. Most of the questions you ask I’ll answer on the tour, and if you ask them now it’ll throw me off.
Melissa: So this is Weldon Hall, home of the biology and chemistry departments. I stay really far from this building because the thought of science makes me want to throw up.
Mom: What’s a typical class like?
Melissa: (glaring) Well, I was going to get to that in Peterson, but whatever. An average day in class? Let’s see…I usually sleep through my alarm and have to run to get to class on time. That’s if I decide if it’s even worth going to class. Then I sneak into the back of my 100 person lecture and nap or play on Pintrest the entire time. The professor desperately tries to get the students to interact, but no one has looked up form their laptops since syllabus week.
Mom: Well, that doesn’t sound, um, encouraging. Do the professors at least have office hours?
Melissa: Yeah, they’re required to have at least three hours a week, but who cares? It’s not like anyone goes to them anyway. Now we’re passing through the quad to get to the student union, which is where the dining hall and health center is. And, just a heads up, if you’re actually sick, don’t go to our health center. Apparently, having a sinus infection is a symptom of pregnancy.
Daughter: This is the quad? Where is everyone?
Melissa: It’s 10:45 on a Friday. Everyone’s in bed sleeping off last night’s hangover.
Daughter: So, you have parties here?
Melissa: Do you not smell the tequila leaking from my pours? Of course we fucking party, this is college.
Mom: I’m glad this isn’t a suitcase school.
Melissa: (laughing) Oh child. Have you ever heard of FOMO? It’s very real, and very much alive on this campus. Now we’re passing Enflar Dining Hall, otherwise known as–
Mom: The D-Hall?
Melissa: Um, no, we call it “Flar.”
Daughter: What’s the food like?
Melissa: Well, if you ever wanted to develop an eating disorder, now would be the time to do so. After eating in Flar, you’ll need to be within a 5 foot proximity to a bathroom for at least four hours. Yet, you still gain weight. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Mom: Maybe we should request a new tour guide.
Daughter: I didn’t even want to go on this stupid tour. This is your fault.
Melissa: This is Merrell Hall, the home of our psychology and sociology departments.
Melissa: You’re going to be that parent, aren’t you?
Mom: Excuse me?
Melissa: There’s always that one parent who can’t just let me give the tour. That parent has to ask every question that pops into his or her head. Maybe if you shut up and actually listened to me, you wouldn’t have so many questions.
Melissa: No, by all means, ask away. Please. I’m on the edge of my seat now.
Mom: Well, what’s registration for classes like?
Melissa: Have you ever seen “The Hunger Games”? It’s like that. You pray to every holy deity that your picks don’t fill up. They will. You then pray that when it’s your turn to register, the server won’t go down. It will. You’re basically fucked until your junior year. Next question.
Mom: Well, are the advisors helpful at least?
Melissa: To quote my advisor, “I can’t believe you’re actually graduating in four years. I am so proud you have matured to this point!” So, I mean, yeah, I think so.
Daughter: What’s the boy to girl ratio here?
Melissa: Something like 55 percent girls and 45 percent boys. But don’t get your hopes up. You have a better chance of getting syphillus than getting a boyfriend. Don’t worry, STD testing is one of the few things the health center doesn’t completely fuck up.
Mom: I think we’re going to go back to admissions and request a new tour guide. This has just been an awful tour. How did you even get hired?
Melissa: Beats me. I don’t really care if you come here or not, I still get paid. If you’re going to leave, admissions is that way. I’m gonna go sleep my hangover off now.
Daughter: I think this is the school for me.