Keeping Your Parents in the Loop

By Horacio Romero Castillo

Hi BeWell Readers,

After graduating high school, summer passed by in a blink of an eye. Next thing I knew, I was moving into my room on campus, four hours away from home. Once my parents left, orientation week began. I started making new friends, learning about clubs and extracurriculars on campus, and was busy deciding what classes to take my first quarter. Things were happening so fast that I forgot to stop and think about how the move was affecting my family at home.

For the first time, I was free from many of the responsibilities I grew up with. At college I didn’t have to translate for my parents or watch over my siblings. I had access to dining halls, libraries, and museums. It was a dream come true! I was finally independent and felt like I needed to focus on myself and do well in school.

After two weeks I finally called home. My mom answered the phone and I could tell she was upset. I could hear the sadness in her voice. My stomach turned upside down. It was not a good feeling. I should have called sooner. It was then that I realized how much my parents missed me. When I left for college, it was a big adjustment for them. As the oldest of my siblings, I grew up as my parents’ “right-hand” person. They trusted my judgment in many situations. The new physical distance between us meant I wasn’t going to be home at times they needed me. And when I didn’t call those first two weeks, they were devastated.

But I learned my lesson. I reminded myself that my parents were sacrificing a lot for me to be at school. They were equally as invested in my future as I was. Succeeding in college meant that everything they gave up when they moved the United States was worth it.

To make things easier, I made keeping in touch with my family part of my daily routine. After my morning classes, as I walked to the dining hall for lunch, I would call my mom or dad just to ask how things were going. I would text my siblings to check in. On most days, there was not much to talk about. But the calls and text messages were comforting for them and encouraging for me. I missed them too. I missed my mom’s food, my dad’s jokes, and my siblings.

Those phone calls and text messages made it easier to feel connected to my family. Now with FaceTime, Instagram Stories, and Snapchat sharing your experiences is even easier. You don’t need to sit down and talk for an hour everyday, but remember to keep your family in the loop when you go away to college, no matter how far away. Believe me, your family will appreciate it, and it’s a good way to cure homesickness.