Student Life

Managing Home Relationships in College

Keeping in touch with friends and family can keep you grounded.

Student Contributor, Alondra Arevalo

October 22, 2022

Managing Home Relationships in College
Balancing life in college is difficult -- add to that your relationships from home.
Welcome back to college (or welcome, if you’re a freshman)! The first couple weeks of your semester/quarter are finally over, which is such a relief! However, if you are anything like me, you also might be experiencing homesickness in college. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. Or, maybe you have distanced yourself from home and want to get back on track. Whether you are an hour away or a couple of time zones, maintaining relationships with your family and friends back home is very important to your success, and it can be difficult at times. It doesn’t seem like something that could affect so much, but little changes can make huge differences.

Creating Boundaries

This is the first step to keeping healthy, strong family relationships in college and balancing life in college. This can mean a variety of things to you. For some, this means only calling home every other day instead of every day. For others, this could mean having specific days your family can visit you at school. This area of managing relationships is very flexible. I go back to my hometown every weekend since I only go to school about an hour and a half away. I also only call home about twice a week because of this. This all depends on your personal preference.
I recommend discussing these boundaries in person so it’s easiest to communicate thoroughly. Think about these questions:

When do you have time to see your parents/friends?

A lot of people don’t realize how limited time will feel when you start college. You will begin to realize there isn’t enough time in the day for all of your work, let alone your social life.
However, it is vital to set time aside for your social life, and your family time as well. They are your support system, after all. Create a visitation schedule and a designated call time for you and your family, to help you organize your life too.

What will you plan to disclose?

This one may be a little awkward to discuss, but it’s necessary. Some parts of your life can stay private, and you shouldn’t have to tell your friends and family anything you don’t want to. Sometimes, some things are best not said. All of these things are totally up to you, and you can be as flexible as you would like with your boundaries. Some people don’t think any are necessary! Sometimes they can be put in place to help you have the best college experience possible.

Communicate Your Concerns/Thoughts

As you can already tell, communication is key to managing your home relationships. If you have a problem that you need to discuss, do it! Whether it’s a mental health matter, financial questions, or anything else that comes up in your head, your family and friends back home will always be there to help you. No question is too risky to ask them since they only want the best for you. You can talk about basically anything you want with your family, so keep your conversations going. And don’t forget to ask how your friends and family are doing as well!

Introduce Your College Friends to Your Family (Only if You Want)

If you think introducing some friends you’ve made will make you and your family more connected, introduce them to each other! It helps your parents have peace of mind about who you’re hanging out with. It can also help you show your friends where you come from as well! It makes the friendship all the more meaningful while keeping your family closer as well. This time for you all will be about experimenting with what works for you. If you need to change parts of your routine so it can suit you best, don’t feel bad about doing so. This is new for everyone, so don’t worry if something doesn’t work out. Don’t be afraid to try new ways to communicate with friends and family back home either, it is all a part of the process. Good luck this year!

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