Build a relationship with your parents

Coming to university means that you are going to be doing a lot, if not almost everything, on your own. Some things – emailing professors and TAs, or sitting down with your academic advisors – are completely your job now that you are in university. Budgeting your money, getting up in the morning for class, and actually going to classes – all your responsibility.

With all that responsibility though, don’t forget to keep a strong relationship with your support system back home. It’s important to be in touch with your parents and/or siblings throughout your first year, don’t make your only communication with them to ask if they’re going to come give you a ride home for winter break or reading week. There will be times throughout your first year – maybe your first week, month, or semester – where you’ll need a strong support system back home to encourage you to work through the challenge you’re facing.

Some people will be in touch with their parents or siblings, even friends back home or at other universities every single day. Others will only really talk to their family once a week or less than that. Whatever works for you is what you have to do, don’t think that because someone else is calling home three nights a week that you should do that, too. But make your phone calls count, talk about how your classes are going, how you’re liking the adjustments to university life, and don’t be afraid to talk about the adjustments that aren’t so fun. Whoever your support is back home will be able to talk you through the things that are bothering you, and will remind you of all the great benefits of being “on your own” at school.

Eventually, you will have someone on campus who will become a close friend, and will be someone who you will enjoy talking to about university life, because they’re going through many of what you’re going through. When you do find that friend on campus, don’t forget to keep in touch with your support system back home. It’s important to have plenty of people who are there for you to vent to, bounce ideas off of, and share stories with. Not every story you’re going to want to retell is a story meant for your parents, that’s what your friends are for. Not every school problem will be understood by everyone around you, and that’s when that call home is something you’re going to want to be able to do to help get through it.

No matter who your support is from back home (parents, grandparent, aunt, friend, or sibling), be sure not to forget them when you head off to university in September. There will be times throughout the year where you will really lean on them, and times where you’ll be thankful for the talks you’ve had cause they’ll help you through something when they can’t take your call. Be sure to build some friendships within your dorm and some of your courses as well as those relationships will be a huge asset to your success and enjoyment during first year.

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