How To Maintain Relationships At Home After You’ve Gone To College

Leaving for college is a huge adjustment, even if you’re going to one near your home.  With such an adjustment, it makes sense that you, as well as the people that you know, change.  The important question is, in the middle of all these changes: how can you keep your relationships intact with everyone that you love back home?

We are fortunate enough to, in today’s world, have so many ways to keep in touch with one another, despite distance. Skype, Facebook, ims, emails, cell phones, and the methods are virtually endless. And yet, it still seems that long distance relationships of any sort are difficult to maintain.

After four years of school in another state, being far away from friends, family, and my boyfriend, I know that this is possible to keep all those relationships intact, but it takes a lot of work, and a lot of willpower, to say the least.  Sacrifices must be made, as in any relationship, but these can seem amplified because of the distance.  For instance, my time at home much more valued the further I went into my college career.   The days I spent physically at home became less and less, and I found myself having to budget in time to even do my homework between the demands of my friends and family.

Admittedly, that was mostly my fault, because I would often double book myself, and not plan time for myself to get the things done that I had to at home.  And, as a result, I had to stay up later. This turned a break where I expected to relax and enjoy myself into one that was every bit as stressful and hectic as my time at school was.  Whatever time I had at home, seemed to be spent finding things to take back, and doing whatever I could only do at home. The most relaxing part became my bus rides to and from school.

My advice would be to be wary of exactly how much time you have. A  week, and especially a long weekend, goes by much more quickly than you think  it would, so plan accordingly. If you have a lot of work, for school or otherwise, make sure you account for it. When time is that short, it is all the more important to manage it, and use it wisely.  And, even though breaks are meant to be relaxing (hopefully) they may not always end up being that way.

While away, however, it is a completely different matter, and one relying mostly on the trust of the other individuals and the technology at hand.  When I first got to school, I made a point of calling everyone I was close to back home about once every week or two. This became less frequent, with the exception of my boyfriend, as I became more at home at school, although I still kept in touch in other ways.  At school can seem to be the tougher part of keeping your far away friends close, because there can be long gaps between seeing them, and people can get busy, but that only makes your time together more  valuable.

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Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes

Stefanie Hughes is a senior at Benedictine University, with a double major in Writing & Publishing and Theology. She spends her free time working on Benedictine’s newspaper, The Candor, as well as being a member of Daughters of Isabella, Students for Life, and helping around University Ministry. Any other extra time is filled with reading, writing, cooking, video editing, biking or walking around the lake.

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