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What to Expect Upon Visiting Your Kid’s College Dorm Room

The last time you visited your kid’s dorm room, you were hiking up flights of stairs with clothes and printers in hand alongside hundreds of other parents and students. You’d spent the previous summer helping your son pack all his belongings, yet you managed to unpack his entire life in just a few hours. It was a bittersweet goodbye as you left him to live on his own for the first time. Now months later, you’re entering his shared cave, and we have a few tips on what you may expect. Skip the heart attack and prepare yourself for a few of these situations:

Pizza boxes

Expect to find pizza boxes, and lots of them. There’s something about pizza and college students that go hand in hand. There’s a big chance you’ll come across empty boxes stashed in the corner or lining the hallways. And because pizza and their cartons become somewhat of a staple in dorms, they tend to blend into the scenery. When it comes to cleaning up, this is probably one of the only areas where you’re allowed to step in and bring the stack down to the recycling bins. 


For the sake of all parties involved, avoid opening the mini fridge. As much as you’d like to think there’s a sparkly clean shelf filled with fruits and veggies, that’s highly unlikely. Along with leftover pizza slices, you might find some beverages not intended for your eyes and definitely not intended for your kid’s taste buds. While the fridge could be clean or conveniently cleared out, only open the fridge if you’re prepared to have that potential conversation with your kid.


Remember making your kid’s bed with those brand new sheets when you moved him in? Yeah, chances are they’re just as you left them. To avoid the heart attack, just tell yourself your son is so busy with his school work he hasn’t had a free second to throw them in the laundry. If you’re a hands-on parent, go ahead, and strip the bed for him, which will be good until the next time you visit. Alternatively, if you’re trying to tell yourself he’s an adult, consider leaving a few quarters for the laundry with him as a friendly reminder of his hygiene.