The phone works both ways
May 24, 2019
After the boxes are put away, the clothes are hung in the closet, and the bed is made, your student is officially moved in and ready to begin their first year of collegiate life at the University. It is an exciting time: adjusting to new classes, learning which bus routes to take to class and meeting new people.
With all these new responsibilities after being thrown into an entirely new environment, your student can feel overwhelmed. You may come to find they don’t pick up the phone as often as you would like or possibly not at all. It is easy to become offended by this or even saddened your student doesn’t miss you as much as you thought they would.
On the contrary, many people do miss their families and loved ones very deeply when they arrive at school, but the newness of life here makes them feel like they are in a whirlwind, and the “Call your Mom” reminder on the to-do list may not always get checked off as completed.
Try to take this not as an insult but as an opportunity for you to show your student you can still be there for them when they need you, even if they can’t put in the effort right away. Calling your student to check in can actually breathe a sigh of relief into their day because when trying to find your place here on campus, it can be comforting knowing you still have a place back home.
That being said, it is also important to give your student room to breathe, branch out and spread their wings. Calling too often can make them miss home for more time in the day than is necessary or frustrate them because lengthy phone calls are impeding their daily tasks. Your student is moving away from home for a reason after all, and they will need to adjust to being on their own and all the responsibilities that come with it, including keeping in touch with those who are important to them.
Not seeing your student on a daily basis can be difficult, especially in the beginning of their University career, but just like everything in life, you will adjust to find a new normal. Whether your normal is one phone call a week, a month or every day, you will find the best way to communicate with your student as time passes. But if you’re really missing them or you want to tell them a funny story that happened back home, it’s usually better to pick up the phone.
Pari is a junior in Media.