Spending Time with Family Reveals Health Benefits for College Students

By Nicole Weinstein
For Unwind magazine

As the pressures of college life pulls us in a million different directions, it is hard to stay grounded and allow ourselves to breathe every once in awhile. In order to stay sane and maintain a positive, mental well-being, we must set aside space in our busy calendars for family time.

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Cornell University did a study–using actual college students–on the effects of staying connected with their families and found that, “over the past two decades’ college students are increasingly maintaining closer ties with their parents and are communicating with them more frequently. Their findings suggest that these strong student-parent relationships can have positive impacts on students’ adjustment to college, identity development and career exploration.”

The study concluded that, “reduced connections with parents can have negative impacts on academic performance and social well-being.”

An Indiana University newspaper article, “Family Involvement Can Help with Student’s College Success,” describes the various benefits keeping in touch with your family provides.

According to the article, “Having an involved parent can be key to a student’s success in college. You can be a helpful source of insight, a shoulder to lean on when they stumble, a cheerleader to encourage and praise their successes, and a place of safety and rest.”

Our parents have been through these difficult years of life before and are eagerly waiting to pass on their wisdom to us. In an interview with Serena Golden, author of the book, “The iConnected Parent,” Golden expressed how research led to the conclusion that, “parents use the ability to stay connected with their kids in more positive ways, with parents giving advice and encouraging their kids’ steps towards adulthood while keeping the lines of communication open.”

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Pets are family too! Emily hugs her dog, Rowan.

Family time can drastically affect a student’s transition into college in a positive way. Lilly Valente, a freshman at the University of Maryland, expressed how keeping in touch with her family has aided her successful transition into the university.

“I talk to [my parents] every single day, and it is extremely important to me because it allows me to check in with everyone and hear about their lives,” Valente, a business student, said. “I trust my family in helping me make big decisions in my life because I know that they have my best interests at heart.”

She continued, “I think that by having constant communication reminds you of your roots and values which allows you to exhibit them in a brand new place.”

Next time you are feeling stressed out or are having a hard time, remember that the best thing you can do is give someone in your family a call, their support and unconditional love for you is what you need to keep moving forward and being successful.

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