For many students, going off to college is their first extended period of time away from their friends and family back home. There are many opportunities to make friends at college, of course, but be real – it’s just not the same as those friendships forged during your school years. You only have one group of people whom you call family, and those relationships aren’t something that can be easily replaced.

In the olden days, snail mail was the only way to stay connected with family far away. As the years progressed, telephones shortened this distance gap. Now, technology and apps make it simpler than ever to stay connected in fun and inventive ways – but the older methods are also something to look into too.



The art of writing a letter is often lost in our digital world. Don’t dismiss this immediately – while the idea of writing letters for communication is archaic, it’s also something tangible. A phone call may dull the sensation of sadness felt by not being near to each other, but letters cause anticipation and can be kept for years to come. Good luck saving your texts and emails for hundreds of years – but a letter can be sealed and revisited over and over.


Facetiming / Skype

While it’s likely you know about these methods of communication, you may be blessed with parents who aren’t so tech savvy. Facetime is an Apple-specific method of video calling communication, while Skype is an Instant Messaging platform that works across all major operating systems, no matter if you’re an Android or a Windows user.

When you go away to college, it will be easy to convince your family to start getting tech advanced. Simply tell your mom or dad that they can see you whenever they want using Skype and they’ll jump on the bandwagon – just make sure you log off when you’re unavailable or you’ll get spammed with calls and messages nonstop.


Specialized Apps

Facetime and Skype are the most widely used and convenient forms of connecting with family members while you’re away, but they aren’t always the best. Sometimes Skype pictures aren’t the best quality and the service can go down, and Facetime is limited to the Apple devices you have. If you want to go all out with your video calling quality, services like Tellybean can turn smart TVs into video calling stations with great quality – just in case you want something a little more high tech.



You may not think that you can get your family to Syracuse, but it’s 2016 – you have options. If your family lives on the east coast, driving and staying at Syracuse University is cheaper than ever. Plane tickets are also cheap nowadays, and reports show that this summer is seeing some of the lowest air fares on record.

It doesn’t have to be a boring visit, either. Syracuse is full of fun things to do, so your family can be entertained while you’re at college for the week, and having dinner with them at night is always an option. You can make it work with some careful planning. Tell your family about awesome places you’ve visited around town and share the experience with them.


Scheduled Contact

Sometimes the worst part of being away is not knowing when you’ll talk to or see them again. Instead of making it a random occurrence, schedule a weekly call or chat to keep each other up to date on what’s going on in life. This kind of contact can also keep you motivated throughout the week, so you have something to look forward to all the time.