Staying in touch whilst away at university or taking your gap year

gap year

The summer has almost ended and thousands of you are about to embark on the journey to university in September to start a brand new chapter.

But while leaving home can mean that you are leaving behind your family and friends for the first time, it does not mean you can’t keep in touch. Even if you just want to call Dad to ask for that extra bit of cash (because you’ve been relentless with your student loan too quickly) or to let your Mum know when you’re next coming home with a load of dirty washing!

The internet offers plenty of ways in which you can contact others for free, meaning the tightest of student budgets will go a lot further and you aren’t racking up those mobile phone bills with long calls, because for many, university could mean trekking to a new country! And, if you are heading off for a gap year, there’s nothing better than letting everyone know over social networks how hot and warm it is where you are, when everyone else is stuck in cold and rainy Britain.

Jon Blumberg from Sky Broadband commented on students specifically stating that: “Planet Earth may seem like a huge place but over the last 100 years the world has got smaller, no thanks to the major changes in both transport and communication […] now you can speak to someone on the other side of the world for free, using your broadband connection and it’s as if you’re in the room with you.”

So don’t worry students, you don’t need to feel home sick when away at university or your gap year ever again.
He then makes a further comment: “For students heading to university in particular, the internet not only provides them with the means to complete their course, it also ensures that they can stay in touch with their family. Once they have finally got up, that is!”

You can now make telephone calls over Skype, connect to ‘The Cloud’ WiFi zone in various social places in cities that connect to free internet or even upload a blog every day about your adventures so everyone can have a read of what you have been up to. Most services are free and easy to use and provide people with step by step information on how to use these particular services. I found this a great little side hobby when I was at university and have now even turned to Vlogging and documenting parts of my life, new chapters and memories which means I am sharing with friends all the time. It is great for friends back home to see what you are up to without feeling like you are too far away. Not only that, but social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow users to upload photos so others can see what they are up to with their new found friends or travels across the globe. On Facebook there is even the option to voice or video call someone now, so if Skype is being a bit flaky (which I often found with the sometimes dodgy university connection) you can use that as only a smaller connection is needed.

If you find yourself beginning to get a bit lonely, there are plenty of free music sites online that can give you a bit of background noise when you can’t get hold of anybody at home. Not only does this pass the time, but it also helps you to study if you’re at uni (or so I found during my time at university) and can change your mood from homesickness to happy in a second. There are some fantastic specific playlists on Spotify that you can pick from to suit your mood and tone and you don’t have to pay for the premium service to enjoy it!

One last tip would be to make sure that wherever you surf the web to keep in contact with others, make sure that you know the connection is secure before sharing personal information online. Make sure that when entering bank details you are in a private location and theycannot be shared with others, especially if you are on a budget or need the money for travel expenses. You don’t want anybody hacking into your account and taking what is rightfully yours!

However you decide to keep in touch with loved ones when you embark on your next adventure, keep safe and happy and don’t let homesickness rule over you!

Do you have any other methods of keeping in touch when you move out of home for the first time? Share below as I’m sure other students would love to gain tips to combat those ‘first flying the nest nerves’!