ADVICE: How to Keep in Touch with Family while Away at College

Story by Emily Oakes
Photo Courtesy of Emily Oakes

Family – the unit and the support system. Its members are people who have stayed with you through thick and thin. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re ours for our whole life, even after we move away to college.

Whether you’re close with your family or couldn’t get out of the house fast enough, staying in touch with them is vital.

Keeping up a healthy relationship with them helps us as young adults to remember where we started and they provide an emotional and mental safe haven for us, but this is easier said than done. The real question is: how can you keep up any kind of relationship with your family members while being away from them?

Social Media
First and foremost, we’re living in the 21st century, where majority of the population has a profile on some form of social media. Whether it be your mother on Pinterest, your father on Facebook or your siblings on Instagram, contacting family is simple. Everyone is keeping up-to-date with their family and friends with these user-friendly apps, making sure the whole unit can be contacted with just a few quick taps.

Along with simply having these apps and scrolling through what your family is up to, you can utilize the sharable content you get while away at school. Parents especially love seeing pictures of what you’re up to while you’re off at school – from what you ate in the cafeteria to a weekend-long road trip you took with your roommates. This makes them feel like they’re still a part of your life. Remember, parents also struggle when their kids move away to school.

Phone Calls and FaceTime
The best way to give your parents some peace of mind is to give them a call. Video calling for an hour or chatting with them for five minutes on the phone can put both parties a little more at ease.

Plus, your parents always want to hear from you! No matter if you haven’t called them in months or a day, your whole family loves to hear and see how you’re doing. After all, hearing the other’s voice is as close as it gets to being with them in person.

As for me, I know there’s nothing more comforting than listening to my mom talk over the phone to me at any time of day. I can hear in her voice how much she enjoys having the chance to hear my voice as well.

Daily Updates
My final suggestion on how to stay in touch with your family is to text them. Telling your mom you got an A on an exam will brighten her day for sure.

This goes for siblings, too. Depending on how close you and your brothers and sisters are, asking them how they are or sending them a goofy Snapchat lets them know you’re still thinking about them and value talking to them, even if it is just about the latest trending meme.

As we grow up and go away to college, it becomes inevitable that we’ll grow apart from our families bit by bit. The part to remember is though we grow apart and move away, we can still stay very close with them. At the end of the day, your family will be there no matter what. Maintaining a healthy relationship with them helps everyone involved, whether you know it or not.