Keeping in Touch from College
- Going away to college is the start of a new chapter in your life. You're starting a new school, moving to a new town and making new friends. It's easy to get caught up in this brand new life that's unfolding before you, but make sure to keep the ties to your old life strong, too. Your parents will worry about you, your old friends will miss you and so will your siblings (even if they don't admit it). Fortunately, with today's technology, there's no shortage of ways for college students to keep in close touch with those at home.
Cell Phone/Smartphone: There are many modes of communication available, but for your parents, nothing can replace the sound of your voice. Make sure you have a reliable cell phone for keeping in touch. Explore family plans, keep track of your minutes and make sure you have a reliable charger.
Email/IMs: Everyone has an email account, probably even your grandparents, so this is a fast, convenient way to stay in touch. When it comes to communicating important dates, parents' weekends or sending your latest paper for your parents to review or brag about, nothing beats email.
Texting: Texting is one of the most preferred methods of communication for young people. It's GR8 for friends, but be sure to keep in mind that parents are not always up on the shorthand. Teach them some text abbreviations so you can send them a quick message when you're too busy to talk and they want to hear from you, but when it comes to parents, a phone call will make them smile.
Facebook and other social networking sites: It's a great way to stay connected and even share pictures with friends and siblings. When you're too busy to call or text, you can just hop on and read the latest news feed to catch up on what's up. You can also add a quick post to catch others up on the latest with you.
Skype/FaceTime: It's difficult to communicate with little ones on the phone which makes this a great medium for keeping in touch with kids. If you have younger siblings or even nieces, nephews or younger cousins, this may be a worthwhile investment for everyone. Children will delight in being able to still see you and you'll still get to stay in better touch with them and not miss too much of that precious time when they're growing up so quickly.
Twitter: What are you doing? Send a Tweet to let them know. The brevity of Twitter lets you communicate your happenings with family and friends in 140 characters or less. Even a busy college student has time for that!
Blog: Give your friends, family and fellow students some real insight into your day-to-day college life. Whether you're writing about pulling all-nighters to study for that big exam or dispensing advice on how to avoid the freshman fifteen, college student blogs are becoming increasingly popular. Some schools even pay students to keep a blog as a way to attract perspective students and add social commentary to their websites.
Visits: Make sure to give your family plenty of notice when it comes to those parents' weekends. Your family will want to visit you in your new home away from home. Be sure to scout the local hotels early so your family can get the best rates. Also, once you become better acquainted with people at school, you'll find others to carpool with for those long drives back to your hometown for school breaks and weekend visits home.
Good old-fashioned letter-writing/cards: Even with all the modes of communication out there, sometimes nothing beats getting a friendly piece of snail mail. A good, old-fashioned card on your mom's birthday or a handwritten letter to your dad is a heartfelt gesture that an e-card can't replace. Make sure to keep a book of stamps handy for those special occasions.
No matter what avenue of communication you utilize, the important thing is to be sure to keep in touch with your friends and family. You may miss them more than you think you will, plus what better way to keep those all-important care packages coming.
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