It’s nearly that time of year. The one weekend when the sweet, sweet sound of trap music fades away into the icy gusts of wind. 

You know what time I’m talking about. Zag Fam Weekend. The weekend when you use every ounce of patience you possess when correcting your family on how to pronounce Gonzaga correctly approximately 35 times a day. 

You may be wondering how you’re supposed to pretend that you have your life together when your morning routine consists of waking up five minutes before class begins, throwing on sweats and shoving a handful of dried cranberries into your mouth while carrying a plastic bag of Cheerios, receiving concerned glances from both peers and professors.

I am here to guide you through the process of faking it until you make it.

Possible scenarios that you don’t want your family to know about:

A personal low point for me was breaking my favorite spork while shoveling down pure cookie butter at 1 a.m. Extreme late-night procrastination is definitely something to hide from the folks. 

“Whenever my mom asks if I’m going to bed on time, I say yes, when in reality I’m playing 2K until 2 a.m.,” said freshman Andrew O’Rourke.

Other scenarios to keep on the down low include napping through class and emailing your teacher saying it was due to a “migraine,” or being edgy and turning in homework assignments on blackboard that are due midnight at 11:59 p.m. 

Another possible unideal situation could involve the online homework progress displayed on the projector with your name being the only one in the “hasn’t started” category for a six-hour homework assignment. 

Preparation for your family’s arrival:

Family weekend means it is time to take all your weekend juice out of the freezer and hide it deep in your sock drawer. In addition, you probably have only done laundry once, so take over the entire laundry room. Leave a “closed for event” sign and people will understand. Oh, and here’s a simple math equation: clean room = money.

Once the family arrives:

Show that you’re on the same wavelength by giving your family the scoop on cool slang such as “dope,” and “send it.” Also, warn them about campus culture they might not be accustomed to, like aggressively polite door holding and smiling. 

Attempt to avoid Starbucks at all costs so your parents don’t know you’re on a first name basis with the baristas and have spent all of your money on overpriced iced cold brews with coconut milk. 

“I always lie to my parents about how much coffee I’ve had. I just pretend my 4 o’clock coffee is decaf,” said Junior Keely Jenkins.

I always find it helpful to mention active things you did recently. Start sentences with “yesterday on my trail run,” or “on my recent mountain bike ride.” They don’t need to know how long it was, and yes, I do count speed walking across Foley field to get to class on time as a trail run. 

Mentioning your blossoming social life is a game changer. 

“To convince your parents you have it together, show them the one class that you’re doing well in and just don’t talk about school, talk about your social life,” said Sophomore Megan McFarlin.

List of questions your parents may ask you and responses that will save you:

Q: Have you been flossing? 

A: Yes, of course. 

Side note: obviously you are referring to the trendy dance move, but don’t vocalize this minor detail. 

Q: Have you been eating well?

A: There are many healthy options in our eating facilities! In addition, Trader Joe’s is right around the corner, we should go! 

Side note: Wink and pray they will pay for your groceries because you’re broke. This question always triggers a montage of me shoving one greasy corndog after another into my mouth at late-night Cog, spending all my bulldog bucks on green apple gummy rings and impulsively buying a massive bag of rosemary chips from the marketplace. 

Q: How are your study habits?

A: Pretty solid, I never stop grinding on my homework. 

Side Note: Express your grades in letter form instead of numbers. For example, say you got a high C instead of 72 percent. Also, never repeat the phrase “C’s get degrees.”

Q: What do you do on the weekends?

A: Arts and crafts with friends after I finish my homework of course! 

Side note: Refrain from leaking the truth that you scavenge around the Logan Neighborhood for house parties and end the night eating your weight in greasy corndogs at late-night cog. 

Q: Have you met any cute boys/girls?

A: I heard 78 percent of Zags marry Zags. I will likely find a suitable mate in good time. 

Side Note: Follow this up with a smile and cheeky wink for extra effect. 

If you follow all of these life changing tips and tricks, your family will leave Zag Fam Weekend flabbergasted at the “new you” who “has their life all together.” May the odds be ever in your favor. 

Juliette Carey is a staff writer.