One of the toughest aspects of going to college can be leaving your parents. As much as we say we can’t wait to leave home and be in charge of ourselves for once, going to college can be a difficult adjustment. Most of us live with our families until we are 18 and apply to college. After 18 years of living with the same people, you’ve probably formed a pretty strong attachment and gotten comfortably settled into a routine. Then, all of a sudden, after nearly two decades, you’re forced to break that routine and start over. This can be an extremely exciting time for many of us, and it should be something to look forward to. However, you may not realize how important your family is until you leave home and live on campus. (Even commuters will have to adjust to seeing their families less as they spend more time at college.)
So how can we adjust to this huge change? There are lots of ways you can stay in touch with your family and still maintain your independence. You will probably grow as a person a lot while you’re in college. Having freedom provides us with a chance to find out who we are and what we want in life. It’s important that you keep your family in the loop, though. They’re the ones who have helped you become the person you are today after all.
While many people say technology is ruining our social skills, we can actually use all of the new technology to stay connected to our families whether they are 10 minutes away or 5 hours.
Skype. This is an awesome way to see exactly what is going on at home and allow your family to see what you’re up to. This will probably make your parents more comfortable too and that works out best for everyone. Plus, actually being able to see your family will alleviate some of your home sickness.
Call home. Try to create a routine and dedicate a certain time once a day or a few times a week where you call your parents. Then, you can keep in touch and catch your parents up on your busy life.
Write a letter. This may seem old-fashioned, but it feels good to get mail when you’re alone at school. It’s exciting to get a letter and also to write one out to your family.
Involve your family. Ask your parents and siblings to help you plan for college and do all of your dorm shopping. This is when I bonded with my family the most. It was nice to be able to include them in the process of me going away. Also, a nice thing you can do is to get your family clothes or other items from your college. I got my sister a Benedictine hoodie before I left and it made her feel more connected.
The nice thing about a school like Benedictine is that a lot of the residents are from nearby towns. Personally, I’m only from a town a half hour away so I get the best of both worlds. I can go visit my family for a few hours on the weekends, then drive back to school and hangout with friends later that night. Sometimes it’s really easy to get busy and feel like you don’t have time to stay connected, but a call home can relieve a lot of stress. As much as we want to be on our own and can’t wait to get away, we never realize the importance of a close relationship with family. Communicating with our family at least a few times a week will make us a lot happier. It’s good to crave independence and freedom when you’re in high school, because that will allow you to make a life of your own. Sometimes we need time away to truly appreciate the ones we love, so just make sure you put in a little effort to keep in touch.