Visiting and contacting your family while at college

Ryan Pattee

College is a very exciting and fun time for students filled with new experiences, friendships and unforgettable moments. For many, this kind of excitement can be overwhelming to the point where you can’t wait for your experience to begin at Iowa State. However, soon after arriving at Iowa State you might begin to notice something.

It might be small at first, like a small memory bugging you or a sudden feeling of loneliness and sadness. For some you might begin to trace this back to a lack of feeling at home, and missing your friends and family from back home.

What you are feeling is homesickness and many people have it at least at one point during their college stay. Your family could be miles, states or even oceans away from Iowa State, but that doesn’t mean you have to be away from home.

For some students Iowa State may not be that far away from the place you call home. If you ever feel like your missing your family, then all you need to do is set up a time to go home and spend a weekend with your family. These don’t have to be frequent, but if one of your siblings, or other family members has something going on, make the trip to support them and be with your family.

Even though it may only be two days with them, those two days will feel like a lifetime, or if you have an event going on at the university, invite your parents to come visit Iowa State to watch with you. This could be a play, a speaking event, or perhaps one of many Iowa State athletic events like Football, Basketball, Track, gymnastics etc.

If your family lives farther away, or cannot afford trips to campus, that’s fine too, but the distance will sting. That’s why it’s good to stay in contact with your family and keep them in the loop of what your doing. A group chat with your family, or close friends, from back home is a good way of keeping this contact. You can text about what’s going on at Iowa State, how classes are going and stay in the know of what is happening back home.

Calling once a week is also an excellent way to feel at home. Even if you are in a group chat with your family calling and hearing your family’s voice is a nice way of narrowing the gap between college and home. This is especially true for international students who don’t have the luxury of going back home every time the University gives students an extended break. For international students, staying in contact with your family is extremely important as facechats, calls, texts and even letters go a long way both emotionally and literally.

Finally one of the most important things you can do is to utilize your time back home to its fullest. For those winter, Thanksgiving, and long weekend breaks, spending time with your family is essential. Try to come up with ideas of things to do when you get back home so you can spend some quality time bonding and making an experience with your family.

Being away from your family will be hard, but as long as you remain in contact college will be an amazing experience, while also feeling close to home.