Make effort to keep in contact with loved ones an ocean away

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Photo Courtesy of Jakub Halun

A New Delhi street is filled with early afternoon traffic on Dec. 3, 2019.

By Elizabeth Sayasane, Features Editor

Leaving for college is difficult for many people. They have to leave behind their family, friends and the comfort of being in a place they know so well. When going to college means being a plane ride and possibly and ocean away from home, it can be even more challenging.

Many students experience homesickness while at school, particularly first year students. It is difficult to cope with so many new things being thrown their way, and it can make schoolwork even more challenging. Everyone develops their own strategies for adjustment, but one thing that can be particularly helpful in the process is coming up with a communication strategy that works for you.

For some, this might mean calling their parents every Sunday night and having a FaceTime call with their friends from home every Wednesday. This structure can be a good way to stay on top of these relationships. Parents will be glad to get regular updates, while friends can have the time to share their weird college experiences together.

This strict timetable could be difficult to maintain, however, as schedules get busier with the semester. People will not always be available at the same time every week. It might be easier to just make an effort to call once a week, whenever they have the time to spare. This way, they don’t have to feel guilty if something comes up and they have to miss their regularly scheduled phone call.

A more unique way of maintaining these conversations, though, could be to go old school and write letters. With letter writing, you do not have the immediacy with a phone call. You can take the time to share everything important that has been going on with your life. It takes away the worry that you will forget something in the moment, because you can always go back to it later before sending.

It also helps space out the timing of these conversations more. You do not have to worry about making the time for an hour-long phone call once or twice a week. Instead, you can take the time to write a thoughtful letter, and your correspondent will know the letter is on its way.

It’s an added bonus that letters from family and friends are always nice mementos to look back on years later. You’ll have good documentation of your life and your friend’s lives from when you were at the University of Illinois.

Whenever you are homesick the first semester of school, you can always find comfort in conversations with your loved ones from home. Whatever way you choose to do it, this will probably be an important part of your adjustment to life on campus.

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