Parents & Orientation

<p>My parents are on the fence about whether they need/want to go to the summer orientations with me. At the same time, we live in Northern Virginia and it's probably not practical to drive me to UVA and then drive me back without staying overnight in such short amount of time. I want to hear from some past experiences. How important is it for parents to go?</p>

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but others deal with this also</p>

<p>We are only an hour and half to two hours from Loudoun and Fairfax. Plenty of people make the round trip drive in a day. When there's traffic, it might take you longer to get from Dulles to downtown DC than it would take to get from Dulles to UVa. :)</p>

<p>There are a handful of people in the Charlottesville area who work in DC, believe it or not. It's not the ideal commute and it's not common, but it is done.</p>

<p>We attended orientation with our daughter last year and it was a good experience. We met quite a few other parents and had the benefit of Dean Groves' "parent talk" which was thoroughly enjoyed. Your parents might actually find that they enjoy it and C'ville is a great town to explore.</p>

<p>To directly answer your basic question, it isn't critically important for parents to attend orientation. The most valuable thing about parents' attending is that the student and parents can listen and compare notes about what they've heard (the parents' presentations are for the most part separate from the students'), and parents can get a better idea of what issues the student may encounter later on. The most important thing is for the student to listen and understand (and remember). Parents can certainly help get a lot of practical stuff out of the way (signing up for emergency notifications, talking to financial aid and bursar representatives if required, etc.).
But as Dean J has said, it isn't really impractical in my opinion to drive to Charlottesville from the NoVa area and back in one day, and then repeat the process next day, for parents who would prefer to do that. I won't assume anything about your financial situation, but there are also reasonably priced hotels/motels for those who wish to stay over.</p>

<p>As one who went last summer, it's sufficient for one parent to cover. I got some real benefit out of some sessions, whereas there was also a lot of open time. The "drop-in sessions" had little value for us. One of the dilemmas is that the student can't check out til 2:00PM and for many students and families, they were finished well before that with no real reason to stick around. That was very frustrating for some people who lived far away and wanted to hit the road. Too bad that hasn't changed. </p>

<p>One group that got value was those who wanted to appeal financial aid decisions, as (to their credit) the financial people were particularly set up and prepared for that topic. </p>

<p>If you were only doing one day, up and back to the DC area is no problem, because you also skip the reception.</p>