Best ways to stay in touch with family

Going to college is a big step in life. One of the most difficult adjustments is keeping in touch with the family members and friends who you miss while you’re away from home.

By Ashley Pascoe


Going to college is a big step in life. One of the most difficult adjustments is keeping in touch with the family members and friends who you miss while you’re away from home.

On the bright side of this adjustment, keeping in contact with these people helps subside any homesickness you may experience. An awesome way to keep in touch with loved ones is Skype. Skype is a streaming video chat as well as an instant messenger. It is free to set up an account, quickly downloaded to your computer, and is extremely simple to use. You can stay logged into your account for as long as you would like, and as your best friend, father, or grandmother log into Skype, a notification will show up on your computer screen. From there, it is one click of a button to see and talk to someone you want to catch up with. It’s like sitting and talking in the same room, just like you were back at home.

The only things you need to have in order to use Skype are a computer, an internet connection, and a web ready video camera. Most laptops purchased today come standard with a built-in webcam. However, if you or your friends and family have a desktop or a laptop without a webcam, Wal-Mart sells them for as cheap as $15.00. They even sell Skype certified web cameras if you are willing to put out a little extra money for a higher quality webcam. Once you have your Skype accounts set up and you approve everyone to contact you through Skype, all you have to do is wait for someone to get on to their Skype account.

“I find it extremely helpful to set aside a specific day of the week and time to talk to a certain person. That way, I always know I’ll be able to catch up with my friends and family back home. I look forward to Skyping with them all week,” said freshman Michelle Walters., “I think Skype is great for anyone to use, especially if you’re far away from home. I’m from Virginia, and I love Skype because I actually get to see and hear people. My Mom likes Skyping as well, because it’s easy for her to use and we get to see each other at least once a week despite the fact that I’m seven hours away from home.”

Another great way to stay in touch with the people you miss from back home is Facebook allows its users to create a personal profile where they can load personal information (avoid including contact information or posting statements about where you will be or live), pictures, videos and more. It also has an instant messenger as well as lots of fun applications. “I love Facebook. I use it every day. It’s so easy for anyone to use and I can keep up with my friends back home even if they aren’t online. I love looking at their pictures with their new friends. I can keep up with everyone on a daily basis,” said Sara Fedunok, a freshman.

Walters and Fedunok both agree that keeping in touch with friends and family is very important and helpful throughout their time being away from home. “Skype and Facebook are two simple and awesome ways to keep in touch. They’re so much better than just your generic phone call back home,” said Walters. “These two sites made my life so much easier this year than I originally thought it was going to be.”

Another great thing about these two social networking tools is that it can make it easier to keep in touch with your friends from college over the summer break. The friends we make in college are people we see every single day and we practically live with them. Over the summer, it begins to get hard to make time to talk to your friends from college because you end up spending so much time catching up with your high school friends and your family. These are two quick and easy ways to stay in touch with everyone while you’re away from school and enjoying your summer break.

All in all, Skype and Facebook are two things you can use to help with the difficult adjustments that come along with moving away from home and beginning the next chapter of your life. They are easy to use and their services are completely free. Make sure you and your friends and family keep Skype and Facebook in mind as you start the upcoming semester.