Wednesday 27 February 2013

Why your parents worry about you living in res - 5 tips on bridging the communication gap

Going off to university or college for the first time may be an exhilarating time for you, but not so much for your parents or guardians. In fact, many parents or guardians dread the day they will have to send their child out into the world of tertiary education, fearing for your safety and hoping you will be able to stay focused and disciplined. These fears will be amplified if you have to leave home and stay in a residence or other student accommodation.

1. E.T. phone home…
It’s likely that they will want to call you all the time to find out if you’ve eaten or if you remembered to wear warm clothes because it’s slightly cold outside. It may seem a little intrusive and feel almost as though your family doesn’t trust you, but just remember that they’re doing it out of love and you’ll probably do the same with your own children one day.
One of the most helpful things you can do is to discuss your parents’ expectations for communication before you leave home. If you feel they need to give you some space, try and break it to them that it would be easier for you to call them whenever you have a moment, but make sure you do call at least once a week, otherwise they’ll feel you’ve abandoned them.

2. You’ve got mail!
E-mail is another form of communication that works well for many families. Student life is sometimes unpredictable—you’re not always going to be in your room between 5 and 10 p.m., when your parents are home from work and want to talk to you. If you and your parents have access to computers, tell them you’ll communicate with them by e-mail during the week as well. SMS messages can also work well if they don’t have e-mail.

3. Coming home
Although students who stay on campus over the weekend tend to meet people more easily, because there’s less studying and more social time, it’s also healthy to leave campus from time to time to reconnect with your loved ones.
When you’re in the residence halls and your focus is on your academics and maybe on a part-time job, you have a big to-do list and a lot of stress, so it’s good to get away and let your mother spoil you with your favourite home-cooked meals.

4. Speak out
If you’re feeling highly emotional or if you’re having thoughts about quitting your studies and coming home, talk to your family. They might be able to think of a way to help you feel less isolated. You can also visit your university’s counselling service for advice on how to overcome the challenges you are facing. Often an initial visit will help you learn about the kinds of support available from your institution and elsewhere on campus.

5. Let’s talk about marks
University is a time when students become more independent — though they may have mixed feelings about it. Even students who don't seem close to their families usually still care about what their parents think and fear disappointing them.
Many students have struggles. It’s important to remember that your parents only want what’s best for you. If you’re struggling in varsity don’t be afraid to tell them. Sure, they may be disappointed, and they may even get angry, but they aren’t going to kill you. They’ll almost always want to help you, because they want you to be successful.

Everyone gets a bad mark once in a while. Sometimes the test was harder then you thought, or you didn’t get enough sleep. Just don’t come up with excuses when you don’t do your work. If you lie, your parents will only get more upset and concerned.

Your parents want you to succeed, but it’s your decision whether you will be successful or not. Don’t argue with your parents if they want to know your marks. Whenever you inform them about a bad mark, have a strategy for recovering from it and let your parents know that you are being proactive about the problem.

In general just be honest with your parents and try to communicate with them more. The more you communicate the better they will feel about your schoolwork and the better you’ll feel about telling them.

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