There’s No Place Like Home?

13 Oct

No matter where you’re from, coming to college is a huge transition for you, your family, and your friends. It can be difficult to find a new balance in those relationships as your priorities and obligations change. College is also a time for you to grow as a person and discover your values and beliefs, which may not always match up with those of your family or friends. If you are finding it challenging to navigate this adjustment, it’s completely normal. Here’s some tips to help ease that transition.

  1. Create or maintain boundaries
    For many people, it is very difficult to create boundaries – especially with those we have close relationships with. However, creating those boundaries and learning when to say “no” or “I need some space” is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Decide where your limits are by taking a good look at your values and the priorities that need to take precedence in your life right now. Then make the commitment to stick to those limits, no matter how uncomfortable it can be.
    boundaries gif
    You may have “helicopter parents” who want to be involved in every single thing you do, every decision you make, and never seem to leave you alone. Remember that they are learning to let you be independent, and that it’s usually because they are worried about you. Sometimes you just have to let that 6th phone call of the day go to voicemail or send a text saying you can’t talk right now, and it will feel a little awkward.
    If you came to college with a friend group from high school, chances are some of them will feel jealous once you start meeting new people. You may have to initiate a conversation with those friends to help them understand why you aren’t around as much anymore. It’s perfectly okay to make new friends! In fact, you may end up outgrowing your high school friends and there is nothing wrong with that either.
  2. Modes of communication
    Thanks to the technology available, it is easier than ever to stay in touch with your loved ones. Group chats are a great way to share the funny things that happen or work through your tough days with family and friends. Facetime and Skype are perfect for storytime when something huge is going on, and it helps feel like you’re with them even if you are miles and miles away. Continue to follow your boundaries with how often you use these modes of communication, but take full advantage of them as well.

    typing

    An accurate representation of chats with your best friend.

  3. Visiting home
    No matter where you’re from, being at home can be both comforting and challenging. Sometimes parents forget that you’re an adult now and you lose a lot of the freedoms that you have while at college.

    greeting

    How family, friends, and pets react when you come home.

    If you aren’t living at home, there’s a lot of factors to consider when visiting home. Tucson natives struggle with everyone saying “it’s so easy to go home” and balancing the demands of being a student. While it is really easy to go home, you have to live your own life. When visiting, sometimes you have to bring your homework with you and you may not get to go on a ton of family excursions for the sake of completing assignments.
    If your hometown is a few hours (or a long plane ride) away, visiting home takes a lot more planning. You have to figure out the costs of traveling and how to work around your class or work schedule. When you do get the chance to go home, you still have the same balancing act as Tucsonans in terms of focusing on school while catching up with your family.

  4. Homesickness
    No matter where you’re from, homesickness will hit you at some point or another. You miss food that isn’t from a fast-food joint, the softness of your own bed, your favorite restaurants, and the scenery. As painful as it is, you will survive it. Let yourself feel a little sad, then do something that reminds you of home.
    homesick sandy

Navigating these relationships can be uncomfortable and emotional, but it’s a normal part of being an adult. As difficult as it can be, you will learn a lot about yourself in the process. Remember that what your relationships look like will be different according to your needs and wants.

– Gabriela

 

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