How We Made My Daughter’s Virtual College Preview Day Special

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When my daughter’s virtual college preview day arrived through our computer screen instead of on campus, I decided to try to make the day special.  With a few little surprise touches, it went well and we had a good time.  Several of my friends told me that they loved what I did so I share this today for other Class of 2020 parents who are preparing to virtually experience their child’s upcoming college preview day.

Last Saturday was supposed to be my daughter’s senior prom and the next morning we were supposed to take a 6am flight to Los Angeles to attend the very anticipated college preview day.

This is the cool card that LMU sent our daughter to congratulate her on the big acceptance.  Love this.

As a soon to be LMU Lion, my girl has been looking forward to this day.  So had I.  When we toured the beautiful Loyola Marymount University campus two years ago, we were smitten. My husband had not gone on that trip.  I was anxious to show him where our girl will call home the next four years starting this August.  That is if the campus is open with the Covid19 crisis.  Knock on wood.  For so many reasons.

As I write this, please know that my heart aches for all the hardship and heartbreak that is happening around the world as we experience this virus crisis.  I know that our missed events last weekend pale in comparison to the many horrible experiences and tragedies that others are going through.  I send continued prayers.

And there are others who are experiencing what our family is feeling.  I know that so many parents are supporting their high school seniors through a lost prom, a lost graduation ceremony, a lost college preview day and so many other losses that are such a special part of high school.

So, as we all must do, we adapt.  We adjust and we take this crisis day by stressful day.

Thanks to many years of saving for her college and the fact that she earned an academic college scholarship, her college plans can go forward.  So far.  She may have to take out more loans than we had planned if the economy continues to nosedive.  Scary times on so many levels.

But back to our special day.  I was very impressed with how well LMU’s Virtual Preview Day went.  It was organized and we had no problem logging on to the various live Zoom presentations that we needed to visit.  Kudos to LMU.


We started the morning with a successful login to LMU’s Financial Aid Info session.  Since that started at 11:30am, I made light brunch foods and added two surprise coffee mugs that my daughter had not seen until this day.  We are now official Lion parents with our matching mugs to prove it. This made our daughter laugh.


The after picture of the brunch I threw together. Forgot to shoot a before picture. The bagels were a hit, as you can see since they are missing from the picture! 

There was time in between sessions for breaks.  When my family went to different rooms, I put out a surprise lunch for the next Zoom LMU event. Each of my food presentations included a special LMU gift.  I had previously ordered some fun college items online from the college bookstore. I had saved the items for this day. 

For the final session of the day, I surprised the family with themed ice cream bars.  The Mickey Mouse bars that I purchased from Food City were perfect since her campus is near Disneyland.  Another fun LMU gift, the water bottle, waited for her at the coffee table as well.

And check out these beautiful and perfect custom sugar cookies!

This special delivery always results in a smile.

My friend, Tiffani has a cookie business so she makes lovely themed cookies! They taste as good as they look! College themed decorated cookies will totally enhance your child’s virtual college day.  My girl even saved her favorite design in a baggie to freeze. 

Hubs called the cookies “money” and I have indulged several times myself. 

Having the festive and college-themed foods on hand added fun for sure.  Adding a spirit item from the LMU’s bookstore to each session was also an enjoyable surprise.  Surprising my girl and my hubs with a different spirited display of foods at each different Zoom session throughout the day was fun for me.

As we sat together munching and watching the college presentations a wonderful thing happened: the college felt more and more like a good fit for our girl.  LMU did a fantastic job with a special section called Get To Know Your Dean introducing us to him and to the other faculty in the specific school that my daughter will major in with her studies.  With an informative interactive Q&A session included, a lot of our questions were answered and many of the answers made us even more excited that the right choice had been made by my girl.  Choosing a college is such a big decision and one that she has thought about and prepared for during her school years.  Truly since the 2nd grade, attending a quality university in LA has been her dream.

Our disappointment about having to attend the big day virtually was replaced with an intimate family college experience day.  The day was filled with lots of laughs, calories that were totally worth it and celebratory hugs.  We made the best of it and I think this unexpected day is something that the three of us will always remember.

Proud parents taking this time day by day.