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Saying Goodbye When Moving to College

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For some, saying "goodbye" is the hardest part about starting their lives at college. Leaving friends and family can be truly overwhelming; it can be especially difficult for those who have never spent a significant amount of time away from home. It can be just as hard for those who are staying behind. There are, however, some things that can be done to help ease the transition on both ends.

Before Leaving

Make the most of the time before college begins. Once school starts (even if school is close to home), you're probably not going to have as many opportunities to spend quality time with friends and family. Take the few weeks prior to the start of school to go out to dinner often, attend a baseball game or other sporting event, or take part in whatever other hobbies you might have. What you do isn't as important as that you do it together, taking time to talk and enjoy each other's company.

If you plan far enough in advance, you might be able to take a vacation together. Vacations are a great way to be able to spend quality time together while escaping the responsibilities of everyday life. Summer courses, internships, and other distractions might make planning future vacations difficult, so take advantage of the opportunity now if you have it.

Keeping In Touch

Make some kind of a plan for keeping in touch once school begins. If you have an idea of how you'll remain connected with friends and family, it'll be much easier to make it play out. If you're going to school relatively close to home, you may have an easier time connecting with your friends and family. Plan on taking time on slow class days or weekends to head back home. You might choose one day per week to spend at home, trying to hang out with someone different each time.

Being farther from home doesn't have to mean that it'll be harder to stay connected. Thanks to technology, there are many ways for you to stay in touch. Set aside some time each week to call up friends and family members and talk to them for a while.

TIP: Take advantage of new technologies like webcams. These allow you to have face-to-face conversations with someone, even if he or she is on the other side of the world.

Finally, plan out the times that you will be home. For example, spring break could be a great opportunity to reconnect with people. Planning how you will use that time will allow you to use it efficiently. If you don't plan, you could miss people because they already have plans of their own.

Even if you take these steps, saying "goodbye" to your friends and family is still likely to be difficult. However, you'll be less likely to feel as though you wasted the time that you did have. You'll also have a plan for seeing everyone again, which can let you start college feeling more confident that you'll stay connected to loved ones.

Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on June 29, 2010

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