Before you started out on the varsity road, chances are good that you had some family stressors. Certainly, no family is perfect, and we all have our moments, but somehow, university life seems to come with a whole new range of family stress.
What should you look out for in terms of family stress, and what can be done about it?
Coping with Family Stress
University is by no means cheap, and if you’re studying away from home then the added cost of student accommodation, travel, and various other necessities can add up super-fast. Many families are relying on you to pass well and get a good job in order to help support the family. Others have put themselves under an enormous financial burden to afford these costs, and no doubt you are feeling the heat.
On top of the increased workload, the social changes, and the associated anxieties, feeling the financial pressure – even second-hand – will almost certainly add to the weight on your mind.
Another of the family issues facing university students is dealing with family expectations. Your parents want you to do well and you want to please your parents; it’s a natural thing. However, even if your parents reassure you that they will be happy with you just doing your best, you probably feel an unspoken pressure to excel…at any cost.
Also, finding the balance between your newfound independence and your financial and emotional reliance on your parents can be a tricky line to walk. You want to strike out on your own and be your own person, yet you are still tethered to your family and everything that it entails.
So, how do we cope with family stress?
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution as we are all unique. However, if we can offer some advice, it would be:
- Talk to a campus counsellor. They are trained to help your very specific issues at college and may be able to offer short-term or even long-term advice.
- Communicate with your family. Open, frank, and honest communication is one of the best antidotes to family stress and will always benefit you.
- Do your best. If you know that you are wasting neither time nor money during your varsity years, then you can talk to your family with a clean conscience knowing you’ve done your best.
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