Staying connected with your loved ones

Photo credit: Littleton Public Schools

Photo credit: Littleton Public Schools

Moving away to university tends to put a strain on your relationships with family and friends from high school. It may seem hard but there are ways you can attempt to stay connected and maintain your relationships with the people you love.

University is when people truly discover themselves and move towards independence. You begin to change, communication patterns differ and you start viewing your parents and guardians more as flawed adults rather than almost perfect caretakers. While not a bad thing, you may start to notice more differences between you and your loved ones and issues may arise in your relationships as a result of this self-discovery and reliance.

Despite the newfound differences between you and your loved ones, or other important people in your life, maintaining a good relationship can be both important and beneficial. You may no longer be the best of friends who do everything together or talk all the time, but having that shoulder to lean on in times of need and to get advice when school is stressful goes a long way.

One of the great things about being at university is that you can find a new “family” away from your biological family. It’s entirely possible to grow closely with the people you meet at school and count on them for support — especially if your relationship with your biological family isn’t the best.

If and when you and your loved ones have a disagreement or difference of opinion, one of the best things to do is to communicate. There should be mutual understanding between both parties. Too often simple disagreements become issues that hurt your relationship unnecessarily. The foundation of being in a good relationship is to love each other despite not always seeing eye to eye. This type of love and communication allows for growth and individual development for both sides.

As bothersome as it might be, it is normal for your guardians and friends to worry about you and want to keep up with your life. During the first few months, the calls might seem excessive but generally they aren’t trying to bother you, they’re just trying to maintain a connection and ensure that you are doing okay. You don’t have to tell your friends and family every detail of your university life if you don’t feel comfortable, but sometimes all they want is for you to reach out and let them know how you are.

Despite your desire to maintain a good relationship with your loved ones, realize that as a growing adult you have to take charge of your own life. There has to be a balance between your own independence and the relationship you maintain with your guardians. Only you can adequately express your views and interests when you get to university and only you can determine how much you want to and can accomplish. For a lot of students this is easier said than done but it is an important skill to develop.

To gain access to programming that can help develop self-advocacy skills and help ease the transition into university, interested students can reach out to Brock Student Life and Community Experience in MCA 204, by emailing studentlife@brocku.ca or by calling 905-688-5550 x6321.

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