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Distance doesn't really separate you from your support system. (Image via The Concordian)

How to keep in touch with your loved ones and enjoy being away from home.

College is challenging, and it’s even harder when you don’t have your support system nearby. Whether you’re traveling abroad or attending college far from home (especially if it is for the first time), college life can be daunting.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can remain in contact with your friends and family, despite the distance that separates you. Listed below are five ways to keep in touch with your loved ones, and how to rid yourself of homesickness.

1. Technology

Nowadays, social media and video chat programs are popular and perhaps a more obvious way to remain close to your family. FaceTime, Snapchat and Google Hangouts are just a few programs you can use, and pretty much everyone has access to these mediums.

The next possible choice is a phone call. Sometimes we simply want to hear the familiar voices of our loved ones without worrying about how we look. Maybe you do not want your mom to question how much sleep you got last night or have dad get a glimpse of how messy your space is. Either way, a phone call is always a safe bet.

FaceTime and other video chat platforms are a great way to keep in contact with friends and family members. (Image via Kcur)
FaceTime and other video chat platforms are a great way to keep in contact with friends and family members. (Image via Kcur)

Depending on your class schedule, there will definitely be certain days that work better than others. In fact, evenings may be the best time to converse with loved ones. However, time zones are a major factor as to when you can communicate with your family and for how long. For this reason, you will find that you need to negotiate an opportune time to talk. It’s important to be sure which times you’ll be able to contact your family.

If you do miss a night, there is no need to worry. College is an unpredictable system of assignments and tests that’s bound to keep you occupied. Your family and friends will understand that you have more demands now than ever before.

2. Snail Mail

While phone calls and social media are successful in showing compassion toward our loved ones, they simply can’t send physical gifts. Writing letters and sending gifts is a more personalized way to communicate with loved ones. (Image via ThoughtCo)Writing letters and sending gifts is a more personalized way to communicate with loved ones. (Image via ThoughtCo)

Even if snail mail may not be as preferable as social media and a phone call, it’s still an option to keep in mind, especially when you want to send someone a celebratory gift. Even though we don’t rely on snail mail as heavily, it’s a great way to send personalized notes or gifts.

3. Email

Email is one of the best ways to keep in contact with your relatives. You’re able to send pictures, group emails or digital postcards. It probably seems like you can do most of these things through other social media platforms, but email has distinct features you can’t find anywhere else.

Perhaps you want to send copies of assignments that you’re proud of. Maybe you feel like showing off the good grade you received in one of your hardest classes. If that’s the case, then your family will be quite proud. If something funny happened to you today, especially if you’re in a country with unfamiliar customs, then you can tell your family about it.

4. Keep Yourself Motivated

Now that I’ve listed a few ways in which you can remain in touch with your family, here are a few tips on how to cope with being away from home.

One way to stay motivated is to keep your focus on the day. Make an agenda on what sort of tasks you plan to complete for the day. Try your best to accomplish them and keep yourself busy.

Remind yourself of why you chose a specific major. Keep working toward your goals. Whatever reminds you of your family, keep that close. It may make you feel sad, but it will remind you who you need to call that night.

5. Keep Up with Family Traditions

If you find yourself having a bad case of homesickness, then keeping family traditions going is one of the best things you can do. Your family will also be proud that you are keeping their traditions alive.

With these things in mind, your stay over at another country might be more bearable. It’s not quite the same as having your family members right beside you, but at least your homesickness will disappear when you converse with them. It’s essential that you stay in touch with your family because they will not know what you are up to or what your atmosphere is like. Keep your family updated, but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a night.

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