A big adjustment to make when you start college is being away from your family for prolonged periods of time. In addition to missing your relatives, you may find it difficult to maintain the same kind of relationship. This can be due to a combination of distance, your new freedom, and discovering more about who you are. It’s important to take steps to maintain strong relationships while still embracing your new life. This means discussing boundaries and potential areas of conflict before you go away to college.
1. Talk About Rules for When You Return Home
Depending on how far your school is from your family home, you may be paying your family visits on the occasional weekend or only going back for longer breaks. In either case, it’s important to know if you’ll need to continue to follow the rules you had during high school or if your parents will allow you more flexibility.
Furthermore, you should discuss whether your bedroom will still be your own private space. Your family may decide to use the room for another purpose after you move out, meaning you may need to share the space when you return or even sleep somewhere else. It’s useful to know this in advance to avoid surprises that could lead to tension — which is the last thing you want after being away from your family for several weeks or months.
2. Set Expectations for Communication
Your family members will want to stay in touch while you’re at college. Whereas this is important for maintaining your relationship, you don’t want keeping in contact to become overwhelming. Try to come up with a solution everyone will be happy with and that doesn’t take too much of your time away from college experiences. For instance, you could agree to a weekly video chat or to keeping your family in the loop with regular text messages.
3. Be Clear About Your Financial Responsibilities
If your parents will be supporting you financially during college, it’s important to be clear about how much you can expect to receive each month and if there will be any restrictions as to how you can spend the money. You may decide that the amount your parents are able to give you will be insufficient for meeting your needs or that accepting money will have too many strings attached. In these cases, a better alternative is to search for other sources of financing, such as through a part-time job or a scholarship.
Make the adjustment of being away from your family easier by finding a place you can call home while you’re at college. An alternative to Niagara College residence is Foundry Lofts.
You’ll have your own room in a fully-furnished apartment — equipped with everything you need to be comfortable. Plus, you can take advantage of some great onsite amenities, including a fireside lounge, fitness center, movie theater, and games room. Book a tour to see all the facilities for yourself.