Leaving home for the first time is difficult. When you’ve spent your whole life living with your parents, it can be weird no longer having them around you all the time. It’s usually worth it because college is supposed to be the best time of your life, but it still takes a bit of time to adjust to the change. Of course, once you’ve moved, you face the question of how often you should call home. You want to keep in contact with parents, but you need to have some level of independence. So, how regularly should you call them?
When to call home
The simple answer is a few times a week. At least, that’s what respondents from a Youth Advisory Board at Harvard believe. They feel this allows students to regularly keep in contact with their family, while still having enough time for themselves to enjoy college life. However, this is not set in stone, and individual instances can influence whether you should spend more or less time talking to your parents per week.
It depends on how your feeling
There are times when we’re feeling down, and the only people who can cheer us up are our parents. In these moments, you’re probably likely to call home more than usual, because you need their support. This is perfectly acceptable, and a lot of students do it. However, you shouldn’t let yourself get trapped in a pattern. If you spend too much time on the phone with your parents, you’ll miss out on making connections with the other people around you.
By all means, use your mom and dad as a shoulder to lean on when you need them, but don’t let them become a crutch. You’ll never be independent if you can’t cope without them.
Base it on older siblings
If you have brothers or sisters who have already gone to college, then you have a sound basis for how regularly you should call your parents. If your mom and dad seem happy with the amount of contact they have with that sibling, then you know what kind of schedule to stick to once you move out. Likewise, if your parents wish that your sibling called them more or less often, then you can adjust things accordingly once you are also out of the house.
Don’t think that this means you can’t be flexible, though. If you’re busy with friends, don’t feel obligated to call your mom and dad because it’s been a few days. Your parents probably won’t be so happy to talk to you if they know you’re blowing off plans just to call them.
No news is good news
Surprisingly, parents don’t want to hear from you as often as you might think. When you’re at home, they probably want to know things like where you are and what time you’re going to be back whenever you go out. However, a lot of parents prefer not to know about this stuff when you move out. They have certain expectations about what college will be like for you, some of which they might not approve of. They’d rather not know what it is you’re getting up to because it will only worry them more. So, if you feel like you need to let your mum know that you’re back home at two in the morning, you could actually be doing more harm than good.
At the end of the day, it just depends on the type of relationship you have with your parents. If you’re incredibly close, then you’re probably going to talk to them a lot more often, which is normal. That doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to phone home just because you don’t live there anymore. As long as you maintain some level of contact with your parents, then they’ll be happy. Remember, watching you leave home was probably difficult for them, so at least try and keep them in the loop.