By Ashley Ioveno
Many parents drop their college students off at their dorms, drive away and then wonder how long it will be before the phone rings. Hours? Days? Months? To many college students, this is their first real chance at independence and some don’t plan on picking up the phone anytime soon.
So how do students communicate with their parents and balance their schoolwork at the same time without feeling overwhelmed? First, accept the fact that there is no perfect approach for this. It could be a brief text every other day, a phone call on a set day and time every week, or two long letters per month. You’ll discover that a natural pattern of connecting with each other will progress over time.
“I talk to my mom on the phone every Sunday morning around the same time,” said Chloe Evans, a senior Medical Imaging major. “It’s kind of nice to have that routine day and time to talk with her. My mom never demanded that we talk on the phone once a week. It just evolved that way and continued.”
For many students, failing to call home frequently can be a positive development. They are most likely actively engaged in their college life, enjoying themselves and have a full and fun schedule. They may be attending classes, going to campus activities, hanging out with their new friends, or doing homework. All of these are not just normal, but also great signs that a student has made a successful college transition.
However, some students communicate with their parents on a much more frequent basis. “I call my mom almost everyday after I’m finished with class. I mostly call her, she usually will call me on weekends so she doesn’t catch me in class,” said Jaclyn Baum, a senior Graphic Design major.
“I miss home since I live about two hours away. But it is nice to have freedom while living on campus.” Hunter Stones, a junior Social Work Major, said, “I usually talk to my parents about once every two weeks, but sometimes less often depending on how busy I am. My dad joked that he only knew I was alive because of my credit card bills. I do know some people who talk to their parents every day though.”
“My sister and I are both away at college,” said Shannon Reilly, a junior Medical Imaging major. “I call home every few days when I remember and go home about every other weekend. My parents always tell me that they would like to hear from me more, but I enjoy the space. I just miss my dogs,” Reilly added.
“My parents give me my space and I love it. I talk to them on average four times a week plus text messages and it’s no problem. It’s enough to keep in touch but I also have my distance,” said Ashley Munford, a junior Education major.
“My parents are busy. They don’t call me often. I call them often–maybe four times a week. Now it is lunar New Year, so I call all family members for greeting,” Said Tansy Liu, an international Journalism major from China.
“We’re independent adults with our own needs and our own lives to lead. That’s where the guilt comes in,” said Stones, when asked about the need to update his parents about every detail of his college life. “No matter how old we are, we’re still our parents’ children, and they expect to hear from us.”