Welcome home, honey! Wow, that was fun moving you to campus only to have your college go remote after six weeks. I spent more time looking for Twin Extra Long sheets than you spent in class. It’s as if they decided to send you home as soon as the tuition check cleared!

Your father and I are glad to have you here, even though your school won’t give a refund so we’re paying $57,000 for you to watch videos—I mean “lectures”—all day. Did you know Coursera has online classes for free? ANYHOO, let’s get started with Orientation!

Food Service: Breakfast is served from 6:12 AM to 6:18 AM. You’ll have a choice of bran flakes or bran toast. I know your school had a made-to-order omelet bar, but they didn’t have to worry about cholesterol, did they? Dinner is at 4:45 PM. It gets dark so early in the fall!

Dorm Room: We thought you’d be gone for the semester, so we made your room into a “man-cave” for your father. But don’t worry, we’ll move his recliner into the corner. You won’t even know he’s there. His snoring is so much better when he’s not lying flat!

Quiet hours: No noise from 9:00 PM to 4:45 AM. Why so early? Because my online Zumba class starts at 5:00 AM and it’s no fun if I can’t hear the music. No, I can’t use headphones. How would I Zumba with a cord attached to the computer? Wireless? Oh, those never work.

Common Space: The TV in the family room is reserved every morning for The View. And did you know Drew Barrymore has a talk show now? We can watch together!

Athletic Center: Your college has an Olympic-sized pool and an indoor rock wall—financed by our non-refundable “Student Activity” fee—but we have something almost as good: a TV in the basement with a VCR and my old Jane Fonda Workout tape! You’re going to love it. Maybe I can show you my Zumba moves!

Campus Health: We paid a hefty “Health Services” fee and they couldn’t even do basic COVID testing. But no worries! I made an appointment with your pediatrician. They are SO nice at that office. They still give out lollipops! Isn’t that sweet?

Learning Pods: Lots of other students are back home, like the Smith’s daughter, Kimberly! She’s such a nice girl. You should call her!

Academic Advising: I’ve looked through the course catalog and my advice is to forget about majoring in philosophy. There’s SUCH a great selection of pre-med classes! Did you know Kimberly Smith is pre-med? She could help you study!

Academic Support: I’m happy to proofread your papers for you, but you must stop with that nonsense about only one space after a period.

House Parties: Remember that storage room where we kept the holiday decorations? Well, we converted it to a “bar,” complete with an unidentified sticky substance on the floor and a kicked keg in the corner to make you feel like you’re really at a frat house! And to recreate the college experience, anytime the dog vomits, I’ll make sure it’s in your room. You’re welcome!

Disciplinary Issues: All problems will be referred to the Household Resident Advisor, also known as me. Decisions may be appealed to the Household Dean, also me. No, not your father. He’s more like a professor emeritus around here, don’t you think?

Sexual Consent: Very important to obtain and also you’re not doing that under my roof.

Leisure Time: Look what I got for you: a Hacky Sack! Dad can teach you everything you need to know. After all, I met him playing Hacky Sack on the freshman quad. Sorry, “first-year” quad. You wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for what we used to call some Afternoon Sack Action! Why are you making that face? What did I say?

Library: Your college has a state of the art facility, but we have the entire Encyclopedia Britannica from 1998. What more could you need?

Information Technology: The printer is in the basement (next to the Athletic Center) and you just need to plug the cord into the little doohickey on your laptop. Why would we need to upgrade to wireless? It’s a perfectly good printer!

Social Distancing: Will be vigorously enforced. Unless it’s Kimberly.

I think that covers everything! Honey, I know this isn’t what you were expecting for your college experience, but we’ll try to make it feel just like being on campus. Especially since we’re still paying for it. Did I mention we’re not getting a refund on that $57,000? Now pick up those dirty socks. I’ve invited Kimberly Smith over for dinner. What’s with the eye-rolling? What did I do wrong?