Heading off to college is a major life change. You’ve probably thought about some of the adjustments you’ll need to navigate, such as living in a new place, managing your time, and making new friends. However, you may not have considered how leaving for college will impact your relationship with family members. It’s important to strike a balance between maintaining strong bonds and developing a sense of independence. To achieve this, there are a few things you need to do.
1. Discuss Boundaries Before You Leave
It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your family about how you’ll stay in touch while you’re at college. If you’re the first child to leave home, your parents may even expect to check in with you every day, but this is unreasonable. You may like to program a chat at the same time each week and agree to call at another point during the week — if your schedule allows for it.
2. Share Only as Much as You Want
Never feel pressured to tell your family every detail of your college life. College is a time for finding out who you are. You shouldn’t feel that you’re required to share every experience with everyone.
3. Be Honest About Finances
One thing you likely will want to be completely open about is finances. This is particularly true if your family is supporting you by paying for part or all of your education. Discuss how you’re managing your budget — and if you’re unable to work right now, consider asking for more financial support.
4. Understand Expectations When You Return to the Family Home
Students often find it difficult to return to their family home when they’re on a break from college because they’ve become used to a greater sense of independence. Talk to your family about their expectations to ensure you’ll feel at ease when you’re back together. For instance, your old bedroom may no longer be a private space just for you, and your parents may expect you to follow the same rules you had during high school or you may be allowed more freedom. It may be helpful for everyone to have a conversation in advance.
5. Talk About Campus Visits
Your family may also want to visit you on campus occasionally. Make it clear that they should always let you know in advance and decide how often it’s reasonable for your family to visit. If you’re quite close to home, your family may want to see you regularly at weekends, but they need to understand that you have other responsibilities and want to maintain an active social life. If you’re going farther afield, don’t forget to discuss sleeping arrangements for visits — you may expect your family to find a hotel whereas they may want to stay in your apartment with you.
You’ll find it easier to make the adjustment from your family home to college if you move into a comfortable apartment. Students looking for housing near Fanshawe College can find a welcoming student community at Foundry First. You’ll have a private bedroom when you want to spend time alone (such as when calling your family) and community amenities like a lounge, gym, and ping pong table when you want to socialize. Apply now while there are still limited spots available.