The first semester of the year is almost over for many students. Now’s a good time to look at how much time you spent keeping in contact with friends and family from home while at school, whether you’re a first year or fifth year college student. Staying connected can be difficult, but there are some ways to make keeping up with people back home easier.
1. Talking while traveling.
I take a shuttle to get to class in the morning and to get home in the afternoon. Usually, I spend my time on the shuttle on the phone with my parents or texting my sister. Finding the time to talk to family can be hard, but trust me, they appreciate the effort. I wasn’t very good about calling home last year, and my parents have definitely noticed the difference.
2. Making it a habit.
It’s really difficult to predict your schedule at the beginning of a semester, but as you get into a routine, take note of your free time. If you always have half an hour after class and before a meeting, you can use that time to talk to people from home. Whether you’re speaking to family or friends, you will likely find a time that works for both of you.
3. Do what feels comfortable.
If you’re not a big talker and find phone conversations awkward or difficult, there are many other ways to stay connected. My family has a group text message, and everyone (okay, usually me) texts the group when something interesting happens. I’ve also video chatted with my family and many of my friends from high school since coming to college. What matters is not the way you communicate, but the fact that you’re taking the time to connect with people from home.
4. This is about more than just your parents.
Some people are very close with their extended family or friends and other relationships from home. Reach out to the people you want to keep connected with. A simple text or message can go a long way to keeping a relationship active and strong.
It’s very easy to get to college and let relationships from home fade into the background. After all, college is a new place full of new people and the potential for many new relationships. However, keeping up with your relationships from home is important and takes much less time than it seems to. Relationships with other people can help you by creating a strong support network in the long run, and it’s important to connect with people in new places and old.