womanpointingPlanning to visit colleges with your college-bound teen in the near future? If you’re like a lot of moms, then you’ve probably made a checklist of things to do and see while on campus including:

  • Go on an official campus tour
  • Attend an information session
  • Eat at one of the campus dining facilities
  • See a dorm room
  • Meet with a professor or visit a classroom (maybe even sit in in a lecture)
  • Read the student newspaper
  • Visit the college bookstore
  • Don’t embarrass my kid


OK, maybe that last item was not on your list, but maybe it should be! Psycologist and author turned comic, Nancy Berk, PhD, tweeted this advice during a recent CampusChat: Moms should “avoid wearing fanny packs, stilettos, and belly shirts. If you wear all three, you should lose your license to parent!” 

In her latest book, “College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get Into a Great College without Losing Your Savings, Relationship, and Mind,” Nancy offers these five suggestions for what NOT to do on a college visit:

DON’T:

  1. Skip the tour
  2. Interrogate the student guide about her SAT scores
  3. Use your cell phone to talk and text
  4. Argue with your child
  5. Forget to explore the campus beyond the tour

Touring college campuses is an important part of the college admissions process and if we, as parents, keep to the list, maybe we can get through it, as Nancy suggests, without losing our relationships or minds. 

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About Nancy: Nancy Berk, PhD is a clinical psychologist and award-winning humor writer. In her latest book “College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get Into a Great College without Losing Your Savings, Relationship, and Mind”, she wears all of her hats (psychologist, mom, college professor, and comic) to create a self-help book that keeps everyone on track and laughing. A writer for MORE Magazine’s MORE.com and humor columnist for SHADYAVE Magazine, Dr. Berk co-hosts Whine At 9 a weekly podcast that focuses on the power of positive whining by finding humor and solutions in everyday situations.