Strengthen Relationships

four happy studentsStart with your old friends. Take pictures of all the friends you’ll want to remember when you are 80 years old and your memory is beginning to fade. Make prints and write a little about each of your friends – information you’ll want to remember.

Take time to talk about your past experiences and time to talk about each person’s future hopes and dreams. While you think it would be great to email each other every day or two  –  it’s not a great idea. You can get together when you’re home for the holidays but most of the time you should be busy making new friend, participation of college activities, and studying.

Spend time with your sisters, bothers, and even a few nearby cousins. Get to know each other better. Learn about their hopes and dreams for the future and share your goals. Do something exciting together. Again, take pictures and be sure to label them.

Most important is spending time with your parents and even your grandparents. You might not have spent much time talking and listening to them over the past several years. This is a great opportunity. Share with them your goals for your future and you concerns for your freshman year.

Ask them about their memories of when they were your age. You can share your favorite memories of things you’ve done together.  Apologize for things you have done or not done that might have upset them. Ask them for their advice. You might not follow all of their advice, but having you ask will make them happy.  Be sure to tell them how very much you appreciate their advice and how much they love you.  Be sure to get pictures of your family – together or separately. They will feel honored to know that you’ll have your pictures in your dorm room. The pictures, of course might be on your desk or bulletin board or they might be in a lower drawer.

You might even take time to visit a few of your favorite teachers and tell them how much you enjoyed or learned in their classes.

While talking with your parents, discuss your future communications. Sure, they’ll enjoy having you call three or four times in the first week. Then you might switch to a weekly email and a phone call every two weeks or every month. Some students get in the habit of calling home every night and later wish they hadn’t. And, when you do call, be sure to tell your parents occasionally how much you appreciate your support.  It makes everyone feel happy to know they are appreciated.

Now that you are in college, takes pictures of your best friends and even your favorite professors. Either write information including names on the back or use a scrapbook. You will really enjoy looking at the pictures and strengthening your memory as the years pass.