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Maintaining Your Relationships Away from School

Monday, February 24, 2014

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Written by Alice Lin

How is that long distance relationship going for you? Finding the time and trying to maintain connections with your loved ones back home is difficult when you are far away and buried under a mountain of midterms, papers, and study notes. This is not just about a relationship between you and your significant others, but also between your friendships and families.

Perhaps when you first got notice of your acceptance to the University of Guelph, you were excited to finally be on your own. Like most people, living at home was like living in a cage and so naturally, you looked forward to meeting new people as well as all the new experiences coming your way. However, perhaps no one gave you the memo that you will be receiving an assignment in the first week of class followed by a midterm at the end September. You are overwhelmed, and neglected to go home and visit family and friends in order to study in the library or your dorm room until the break of dawn. It seemed like such a waste of time and taking the bus home was a gruesome three hour commute that you would rather be using to catch up on writing papers and studying. And what’s the point? You’re not really going to get much work done at home anyways.

Because when you are back, your friends who did not leave home for University, will start to bombard you with invitations to hang out. Your family will want to ask you endless annoying questions about your time away from home, and all you can think about is that discussion post and/or assignment that you have due next week. Next thing you know, you have no idea what is going on with your family and friends.

Maintaining a healthy relationship with those back home after graduating High School, needs to be prioritized. It is just as important in addition to your prioritizing your academic studies. This is not an easy thing to do, and you may realize that you have lost a few people on the way.

Thankfully nowadays, we have technology and social media like Skype, Facebook, and Twitter to keep us in the loop. These things help make that gap of a distance a little bit smaller, and it will help to make your life away from home a little bit easier. However, you shouldn’t only rely on these platforms to stay connected (we all know the downside of being on Facebook too much). It is also worth mentioning that you are also likely going to meet new people and they may or may not become your new immediate support team. But take this opportunity to introduce these new people in your life to those back home.

Your academic life may seem like the most important thing in your life when you are away in school, but do not fall into the trap and neglect your support team back home. The time and effort you put into something, is inevitably a reflection of how much you care about it. What’s the point of excelling in school if you have no one close to share or celebrate your achievements with?

“Distance makes the heart grow fonder” - Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry.

From my personal experience, face-to-face human connection is not something that can ever be replaced. Learn to prioritize your time and aim for a balance between your school, your work, and your life. Trust me, you will be much happier. Indeed, you may have left your hometown temporarily to study at Guelph for school, but you do not have to leave your relationships behind. Your friends and family help keep you grounded, and most importantly, they keep you from going insane.

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