Everyone deals with the parent-child separation differently. Some parents can’t wait to ship their kids off to school, some have mixed feelings and try to be strong about their babies leaving, and some downright beg their kids not to go. As students, we also have different outlooks about leaving for school. Some teenagers count down the minutes until they move out, some hope to put it off for a while and choose to commute, and others, including me, have mixed feelings. We want to be on our own and start a new chapter of our lives, but we don’t feel like we have to cut off all contact with our families.
No matter which category you and your parents fall into, it’s important to keep some contact with them while you’re away at school. It’s easy to get caught up in college life and forget that anything goes on in the world outside our little Duquesne bubble, but life most likely hasn’t changed much for the family and friends we left at home. They still go to work like they did when we lived at home and they still have their daily routines—we just aren’t as big a part of them anymore. So while we’re here studying and partying it up, our parents are at home feeling strange about our absence. Mom and Dad may be happy now that they don’t have to clean up after us, but they haven’t forgotten about our existence.
I think it’s important to drop them a line every once in a while-whether through email, text message, phone call, video chat, etc.-just to let them know you’re safe and still in school. Most parents would even love to hear about how you’re spending your time, who your new friends are- basically as many aspects of your life as you’re willing to tell them. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no need to tell them everything, but a simple hello each day means a lot.
This goes for other family members and friends, too. I found that email has been a great way for me to keep in touch with my parents and other loved ones since I’ve been at school. You can tell them as much or as little as you want, and they can reply at their convenience. This can also help keep the daily phone calls from Mom to a minimum, allowing you to come up with far less excuses about why you ignored the call.
Don’t forget, you can still visit home from time to time, too! This may be difficult depending on how far you live from campus, but try to go home for a day or two when you can. It will help connect your home life to your school life, and it will make things easier for both you and your family.