Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

15 ways your parents will try to embarrass you at a University Open Day and how to cope

Embarrassing parents

So your parents have been embarrassing you now for 17 years (ish) and University Open Days will give them a prime opportunity to cause a few more red faces. You’re so keen to make a good impression on your potential new classmates and lecturers, but it’s inevitable that your Mum and Dad may cause you shame at some point during the day.

We’ve trawled social media and compiled a list of the 15 most embarrassing things parents do at University Open Days. Which ones do you recognise? Let us know on Twitter!

1. Getting emotional

Even though you can’t wait to leave home and enjoy uni life, just remember that your parents might be feeling a bit emosh about their baby being all grown up. Bring a pack of tissues and leave them to it.

"Got all emotional today going with my son to a uni open day, I am so soft."

2. Trying to be cool

They are just reminiscing on their student days and trying not to feel too old.

"If Mum says the word vibe one more time on a uni open day I'm going to cringe to death."

3. Making inappropriate comments

We’re all guilty of verbal diarrhoea from time to time and parents have the habit of saying exactly what they’re thinking. Just encourage them to use their quiet voice if possible. 

"At the criminology talk at uni open day, they mentioned a new scheme where you visit prisoners. Mum goes: 'You might find a boyfriend!'"

"Sitting in a maths talk at a uni open day with my Dad. "We're in with all the nerds! You're going have a fun three years aren't you mate?"

4. Being mistaken for a prospective student

You hate to admit it but your Mum looks good for her age. Just think, you’ve probably inherited the youthful gene.

"When you’re at a uni open day and someone asks: "Is your friend doing the same course as you?" They were asking about my Mum lol."

5. Flirting with the lecturers

There’s not a lot you can do about this, just ask the tutor a really practical question about your modules and they may not seem as attractive when explaining all the theories you’ll cover. 38 per cent of students in one of our recent Twitter polls said that parents flirting with the tutors was one of the most embarrassing things to happen at Open Days.

6. Eyeing up the other students

Ask them: "Are you not old enough to be their parent?" to put things into perspective.

"Uni open day with my Mum consists of ‘Oh he was beautiful, I hope he's in your class.'"

"My mum nudges me and way too loudly says: 'Yummy' at every hot boy she sees at a uni open day."

7. Getting lost

Going to a new city inevitably means taking a wrong turn somewhere on the way, so take a look at the directions before you head off. Good news is that your parents may end up embarrassing themselves too, which will keep you laughing for a long time.

"My Dad went into the ladies toilets today by accident at a uni open day and I've never laughed in public so much in my life."

8. Abandoning you altogether

There’s really no excuse for this, just ask them for some moral support – they perhaps didn’t realise you needed it.

"As if I have to get the train on my own for a uni open day next month because my Mum and Dad want to go to the races. Someone help me."

9. Appreciating the facilities

You’ll be given loads of facts and figures at an Open Day and it’s hard not to be impressed by the support on offer. This Dad really thought outside of the box though after he found out the library was open for 24 hours a day:

"After a night out you can come back here and smash some work out.” That’s the last uni Open Day you’re coming to Dad"

Asking too many questions

10. Asking too many questions

Your parents will want to know stuff too, but maybe see if they can save their questions to the end of the session to avoid taking over the talks.

"I'm never taking my dad to another uni open day again. We went to a law lecture and he literally didn't put his hand down the whole time."

11. Not paying attention

Your chosen subject might not thrill everyone, but try and encourage your parents to at least pretend to be interested so they know what you’ll be doing for the next three years.

"Sat at this uni open day with my Mum and during the talk she gets her Kindle out half way through and starts reading."

"'I'm a banker so I have no clue what she's talking about.' This is my Dad at every art university open day."

12. Going just for the freebies

Everyone loves a freebie, but remind your parents not to judge the quality of a university by how many free pens it has on offer. Maybe treat her to some new biros from the pound shop before you go so she doesn’t have to stock up the stationery cupboard on your visit?

13. Falling asleep

Concentrating on the details of an engineering degree may be enough to send anyone into a deep slumber if it’s not your thing, but if you see their eyelids getting heavy, head straight to the nearest coffee shop to avoid ultimate snoring embarrassment.

14. Getting the dress code wrong

Your parents may be as keen to impress as you are but don’t need to go overboard with the formal attire. Maybe have the old ‘What you wearing tomorrow?’ chat with them to avoid any nasty surprises in the morning. 

"Mum has never been to a university open day and she's come downstairs in a pure suit and tie. WHAT ARE YOU DOING GET CHANGED."

15. Signing you up without telling you

They were just trying to be helpful but you now feel totally unprepared and nervous when you find out at the last minute about your uni visit this weekend. Just talk to them, and if you seem interested enough, they shouldn’t feel the need to register for you.

Ambitious at heart

Open Days 2019

Our Open Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to discover just what we have to offer.

Virtual Open Day

Our Virtual Open Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to discover just what we have to offer.

Find out more

Most Popular

Do you have any questions?

0121 331 5595