All too often we read articles about how you should cope with leaving your parents and moving to university. But spare a thought for your family who will miss you too.

 You are not the only one who will, at times feel lonely or grief stricken because you are away from home. Your parents may suffer empty nest syndrome which includes symptoms of grief, loneliness and in the worst cases depression. Then again you might discover that your departure has been celebrated with a bottle of champagne to mark the beginning of a child free existence.

You will probably get a fairly good idea of how they feel when you say goodbye. If you are unsure ask them what they plan to do now you have left and if they sound sad then reassure them that you will be ok. Also encourage them to keep themselves busy with activities they have in the past enjoyed but not had the time to do.

How much contact you have with each of them will really depend on their needs and yours. Some of you will call home daily or several times a week. The rest of you may do it when the need arises or wait for your family to contact you. So as not to disappoint start by having a chat with each family member about how often they would like to hear from you. Try and agree times and days that suit everyone. One person might want to speak to you on the phone another might be happy with emails or conversations via social media.

Which brings us to the other burning question of the 21st century; do you want your parents to be friends with you on Facebook or let them see your pictures on Instagram?  If you are not prone to detailing your drinking exploits, publishing photos of you drunk or kissing a random stranger you have less to worry about. If on the other hand you do then bear that in mind when allowing them into your digital life. It could cause your parents to worry more.

At the beginning you will probably spend all your holidays at home but as you settle into university life, make friends or grab work opportunities your trips home may become less frequent. If this is going to be a source of anxiety with your family then give them plenty of warning and to keep them happy why not arrange to see them wherever you are going to be staying.

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