Four friends embracing in the sunset

How to stay connected to home while you're away at college

You might be living away from home for the first time. It’s exciting and a little scary to figure things out for yourself — you should be proud of everything you’ve accomplished. But no matter how much fun you’re having, don’t forget to stay connected with the people from home who taught you everything you know.

When someone leaves home it can create a lot of complicated emotions for the one who’s leaving and for those staying behind. (Have you read Rob Lowe’s powerful words on the subject?) If you left on a less-than-positive note, it’s time to work on repairing your relationships. It’s on you to understand and accept how others may be feeling and to apologize for anything that needs apologizing for. The power of an apology is great. Whether you write a letter, call home or talk in person, reopening that connection is major and will likely be a relief for you and your family.

Even if you left home with encouragement and excitement and are loving every second of your college experience, it’s totally normal to feel homesick. Keeping in touch and balancing your homesickness with your excitement about your new life is key to mastering the experience. Try a few of these great ways to connect with home while you’re away at college. And know that it’s going to be okay. Really.  

Your phone can do more than text

Your mom may have been known to complain that you were always on your phone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call her. Sure, maybe you text your parents several times a day, but speaking (or video chatting) with family would likely mean a lot to them. So before you ask your parents how to do laundry for the third time this week, consider calling them to talk about your day, a tough exam or how much you miss them. You can double-check which wash cycle to use at the same time.

You can go home again

It may not be exactly the same. maybe your room has been taken over by your little brother or a home gym, but if your family still lives where you grew up, it can be very comforting to plan a weekend visit. If it’s too far for a weekend trip, try making your favorite childhood meal (or finding a restaurant to do it for you), then close your eyes and savor the comforts of home.

Keep a memory on hand

Bringing a keepsake or framing a picture of your family or a place from home, like a lake or your backyard, is a good way to remind yourself of positive memories. Even better is curling up with a favorite blanket or pillow you grew up with. Bonus points if you call your parents while wandering down memory lane.

Make the invite

Let your family know you want them to see you in your new element. ASU Family Weekend is Nov. 8 – 10. It’s a great time to have the whole group on campus to see where you live, work, study and spend your free time. There are family friendly activities planned all weekend, and you can find some extra time to show off your favorite on-campus hangouts.

Let us know how you stay connected to your home and family while you’re at school. And tag us in your family weekend photos on Instagram @asuadulting101.

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