By Beatrice Quarshie
It goes without saying that going to university is a BIG DEAL. Whether you move hundreds of miles away or stay at home, going to university will undoubtedly affect your home life. Things definitely change: family, friends and pretty much the rest of your life.
Regardless of your family dynamic before you went away, university will definitely change it. In most cases your parents will miss you. Despite the brave face they put on when they drove away, beneath the surface they are one break down away from becoming Amanda Bynes. If yours are anything like mine, you’ll be inundated with phone calls and FaceTime messages morning, noon and night, just to see how you are.
Be nice to your parents, just because you’re off in a new town exploring the wonders of freakishly cheap alcohol and the mind-blowing aisles of Pilkington doesn’t mean they are having as much fun as you. In some cases they’re sitting at home watching Pointless trying to cope with their “Empty Nest Syndrome”. So pick up the phone and give them a ring, after all they did spend eighteen years of their lives looking after you, I’m sure you can spare them half an hour just to see how they’re doing.
For those rare cases where parents actually enjoy the freedom of having one less brooding teen in the house, don’t be surprised if you go home one weekend to discover your room has been converted into a mid life crisis sanctuary (aka Games Room) for your father. Be prepared and take a sleeping bag!
This doesn’t apply to all of us but for those un/fortunate souls, who have left siblings behind or have in fact been left behind themselves, you will know that a sibling going away to university can be a wonderful thing. I, for one found that when my siblings moved it actually brought us a lot closer. This seems odd but it goes to show how absence really does make the heart grow fonder. You go from squabbling and quarreling with these individuals every day, to having to make do with a five-minute phone call before your brother goes to rugby practice, just to discuss how he should season his chicken because Piri Piri Salt is not an extravagance us students have the luxury of indulging in. It may seem trivial but you really do appreciate your siblings more when they’re gone.
Those people you pretty much considered family are now scattered all over the country, some further afield than others. University is an incredible test of friendship. Let’s face it, some friendships were simply not made to withstand distance and that’s ok, because you realise the ones that can be maintained over text, phone, Skype and train journeys to places you’ve never heard of before. Those are the ones that really matter.
A little addendum, when going away to uni don’t think that you’ll be able to escape the wave of homesickness that all students feel eventually over the course of their studies. It’s inevitable. Accept that you miss home – don’t annoy your roommates by moping around and saying how wonderful your old life was. Visit home every now and again and you should be fine; the homesickness will ultimately pass. Also the sooner you come to terms with the fact that things at home will change, the better.