College Student, Call Home!


phone callOn my “introduction” post, Lisa asked how often I am in touch with my parents and siblings, and what seems to have worked for us.

Well, I will be honest: I don’t have a set schedule for talking with either my parents or my siblings. If I remember correctly, during my freshman year I spoke with my parents on the phone about every 10-14 days. Sophomore year, it was probably a bit more spread out. Of course, going overseas for a semester changed the manner of our communication. I found an iPhone app which allowed me to call home for free over wi-fi, but for the most part, we “spoke” via email and maybe a once-every-three-weeks Skype chat. This year, I’ve been speaking with them about every three weeks.

Of course, with the advancement of media, it’s inevitably changing the way I (and probably more than 90% of other college students) communicate with family back home. In between the times that I speak with my parents, we certainly email more than once a week, and sometimes it’s 7 days in a row! Email helps us “keep up” with small things in between the longer talks. They can see my photos on Facebook and they both read my blog faithfully.

As for my siblings, they are each very busy with families of their own. I talk with my sister about once a month. We tend to text randomly throughout the week, and email a little bit as well. My brother and I don’t keep up as much, but this doesn’t seem to hurt our relationship when I go home and we have family time together.  Again, technology has influenced these relationships, and I read my sister’s, sister-in-law’s, and brother’s blogs.  I’m also beginning to receive little emails from my older nieces and nephews, which is a lot of fun and helps me stay connected in a different way.

I’ve been blessed that I’ve never been homesick. I’ve missed people, certainly, but I’ve never “just wanted to go home”. I know that my family is always there when I need them, and because I know that, I honestly just sometimes forget to call. I think a lot of that has to do with what I think is a healthy balance of communication and giving me the space I need while I grow and learn for myself.

The balance of keeping in touch while learning who I am is tricky. I think you would have to talk to my mom about whether she thinks we’re in touch enough (maybe she can pipe in via the comments!), but I personally find my communication with everyone back home to be just right.

Copyright 2014 Allison DeWolf


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  1. Beautiful article, Allison! I’m the same age and go to the same school… (and we’re friends…) and my communication is basically the same as yours. The only difference is that I text my mom almost everyday – usually just a sentence or two and a silly picture – and call her like once a week in my ride to or from school.

    Thanks for your insight!
    Vivi D’Amore

    • Thanks Anna 🙂 It’s so interesting how we here at school are in very similar places in life, yet we do little things like communication differently!

      Vivi D’Amore, sister.

  2. Allison, as I told you before I am very appreciative of your article! When I was in college, we called home from a payphone about twice per month. The call was short and not overly detailed. Now, if I go more than a week without hearing my college son’s voices, I feel so sad. But I need to remember that this is their time to live their lives and to find their independence, just as I did back in my college days. In some ways, our tech tools are so great for keeping in touch, but in some ways they provide emotional challenges too (and a tether to mom that’s not good, right?). Keep up the great writing!

    • Lisa, my parents had this 800 number so I had no excuse not to call them…and I believe it was pretty close to weekly that I called. (I had a little preschool aged sister at home who wanted to talk to me!) It cracks me up, given how different communication is now! My 9yo couldn’t believe that we didn’t used to be able to take our phones with us–the idea of a phone being limited to a location was novel to her!

  3. I find this so interesting, Allison. I feel like it’s a little glimpse at a life so very different (and far better) than my college life was. Kudos to you for being so open to staying in touch with your family and for using technology to do that.

    Thanks for sharing a peek into the window of campus life for those of us in very different trenches. 🙂

  4. As every mom knows, each one of our young adults that we send off to college or the workplace is unique! I think communication is important–very important. I need to remember that if we aren’t taking the time to share the joys, concerns, funny stories, and just the “news from home” or the “news from college”, we’ll grow apart. I think, as Allison said, balance in establishing communication habits is the key. Each family is different, and it’s important for me to consider Allison’s time schedule and her need to grow and experience college life and new relationships, just as she considers us at home. So for me, balance, and loving consideration for the other are important for establishing a good plan for our communication. And technology aside–I love to write notes!

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