by PLA Roopa Suppiah
One of my friends asked me recently, “So, what do you do to relax or de-stress?”
I thought about it quickly and gave some pretty typical responses: yoga, watching Glee, or listening to a Ted Talks. I didn’t realise until a while later that when I need a break, the thing that I turn to most often is actually calling home!
It’s very typical to hear about those university students who haven’t called home in about 3 weeks. Hearing that just boggles my mind, especially since I talk to my family on average 2 times a day! Sometimes it’s about 4 times, sometimes only once. But, there is not a single day that I haven’t called home, or my family hasn’t called me. Often, if my family hasn’t heard from me by the evening that day, they will give me a call to check up on me.
That may sound pretty crazy to a lot of people. However, it’s probably the one thing that keeps me sane in the chaos we call university life. When I call home, I talk about how my day went, I usually complain about a few things like the test I have coming up or how far behind I am, but it allows me to get whatever I’m feeling off my chest and I can move on after that.
Calling home and talking to family really gives me a dose of the outside world. Almost all of us get trapped in the university bubble, and I find that for me, talking to my family puts everything in perspective and sort of brings me back to reality. Though it’s sometimes hard to remember, life actually isn’t just about making all your deadlines.
Some people may feel ashamed to say that they call home so often, but please, don’t be! I believe it really is one of the healthiest things I can do for myself each day. If you aren’t close with your family now, maybe it will bring you closer.
If you are close with your siblings use them! Whenever I have a dilemma, whenever I am unsure about a decision I have to make, or whenever I just need to be silly, I call my sister and everything seems to be better than it was before I called. Even if I haven’t solved the problem or figured out what decision I am going to make by the end of the phone call, I still feel better rationalizing it out loud. I like to hear opinions from someone I care about and whose opinions I value.
I do realise that these tips may not work for everyone, because family dynamics are definitely different from family to family. But, if you do have parents who want to talk to you, or siblings who are there to listen, use these valuable resources!
So, next time you feel like your head may pop off from the pressure that school brings, try calling home and see if it can do wonders – like it does for me!