by Mariah Castillo
Congrats fellow first-years! On Wednesday, we will all have survived our first month of classes! Now you’re finally getting into the swing of things. You’re finding your balance between work and play, and even though you’ve been at Barnard for almost one month, your parents are still calling you every night.
You might find this constant nagging to be tiresome, especially on nights where you want to use that time to study or relax. However, your parents are only doing this because they love you and they miss your presence. You might be the only child or the youngest child, and your parents might be going through the “Empty Nest Syndrome.”
No matter what your situation is, it’s all right for you to indulge in a phone call with your family. I’m sure that, after all the excitement of being away has settled, you miss your family as much as they miss you. But there are some questions that come up every single time that do get annoying. Although everyone’s parents are a little different (and you know your parents best), here are some common inquiries parents make, and some ideas for how to handle them.
“Have you been sleeping well?”
Unless you’re super-efficient with your time, you probably haven’t been getting as much sleep as you want to. If (and when) your parent asks you about your sleep schedule, be honest and tell them why. If it’s because you have a lot of homework to do, they’ll understand. That’s what the weekends and late classes are for. If it’s because you’re socializing every night, telling your mom that’s the reason why you’re tired all the time is at your discretion.
“When are you coming home?”
If you’re like me and live a few hours away from your family, you’re probably asked this question often. You might not go home as often as they’d like, but feel free to indulge your parents and come home once in a while. If you’re not that far from home, it’s always good to have a place to go to when college gets rough.
However, keep in mind that a weekend you go home is a weekend when you’ll miss the experience of being independent. It’s great to be back once in a while, but you’ll never have a true college experience if you go back too often.
Your parents might also drop the bomb and announce that they’ll be paying you a visit. There’s not much you can do about that; just make sure you coordinate with your parents. If you have too much to do that weekend, be honest and tell them.
|Is this the face you make when
your mom calls?
“How are your classes going?”
There are times you have the urge to sugarcoat your answer to this question. Your mom might text while you’re working on a ten-page essay and you just want to say “Everything’s great!” just to end the conversation.
That’s natural–you just want to get back to work. However, if something in class is really bothering you, be honest and tell them what’s going on. They might not be able to change the situation by writing an angry email to the professor who’s giving you grief, but they can be an outlet for your stress. They can also be a great source of information on certain topics. For example, I learned my mother knew a lot about electricity after we finished that unit in Physics.
“Have you made any friends there?”
Whether you have a large group of friends already, or you just have a few really close friends, tell your parents about the wonderful people you have met. While they probably want you focused on studies (they let you enroll to one of the most rigorous colleges in the nation, after all), they most certainly don’t want to think you’re lonely. If you feel like you haven’t made friends yet here, give it time and keep looking! There will come a day when you can honestly answer this question with a, “Yes, and he/she is amazing.”
Overall, those voicemails and texts from your parents might still be annoying, but keep in mind they’re only checking up on you because they love you.
Mariah is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.