Growing up and moving away from home to attend a university can be exciting. That is until you get there and realize the major change that just happened in your life and nothing is familiar anymore. Coming from a big household, I didn’t notice how often I relied on my family to keep me company. With a new schedule and not coming home to your family like usual, it can be difficult to prioritize reaching out and keeping up with what’s going on at home. With time and experience, though, you can adjust and learn how to balance your life at school and at home to ensure your family still feels they are cared for by you.
At first, it may be very difficult to handle classes, extra curriculars, social life, and family. A lot of people are used to the same exact neighborhood, friends, family, schools, etc. At one point in your life, home was an unfamiliar place to you as well. Just as you once had to do at home, you have to create a routine and eventually you will get used to it. Once you have become comfortable with the environment around you, then it will become a lot easier to find time slots in the day to talk to people at home. A planner is a useful tool in planning out your days. This way you can lay out what you have to do everyday and visually see where you have free time. Eventually, calling your family will become part of your routine and won’t be something you have to think about fitting into your schedule.
Calling your family compared to seeing them in person can be very challenging because of the lack of emotion that is shown through a call, but it does allow you to see each other’s face and feel a stronger connection. A long distance relationship with your family takes time to adjust to, but you have to use your resources to feel each other’s presence as much as possible to fill that part of your life that isn’t physically there anymore.
At times, you may miss your favorite stores, foods, parks, people etc. that aren’t around anymore. Gift giving can help with this new unfamiliarity you feel. Receiving snacks, homemade cards, and gifts as such will allow you to live your new life with a piece of home. Doing the same for your family will let them feel included in your life, even when you are away from them. In this case, you can connect with your family in a different way beyond hearing their voices and seeing their faces.
Although these all sound like quick and easy fixes, there’s a lot that goes beyond wanting to spend time with your family. Being away from them also means not being able to provide and support them as much which can be really stressful. Not as much can be done while being thousands of miles away and sometimes it can be frustrating feeling like there’s nothing you can do. It’s important to remember in these times that just by calling them and showing that you’re thinking about them goes a long way. You’re doing as much as you can and that’s what matters.
A long distance relationship with your family is a big obstacle in life to overcome. Growing up, you can’t wait to live on your own and start new, but once it happens, you realize you took for granted the people and places you used to have. In this way, you appreciate home and all it provides for you much more than you did when you lived there. It’s important to remember that you went away for college to start your own life. While this doesn’t mean to leave the old one behind, it does mean to focus on yourself and do what makes you happy.