Phoning home: College students keep in touch more often

By on February 28, 2007

“Don’t forget to call us!” These words can be heard from the mouths of almost every parent of a Quinnipiac student upon their departure on move in day. Most students won’t and will feel the usual homesickness and longing for family ties as the majority of their peers. However, as time progresses, do students keep up with the heavy communication or does it dwindle down to once a week, or even less?

According to an article from Drury University’s “The Mirror,” college students are phoning home at a more frequent rate than ever. The article states, “Recent studies nationwide show that the so-called ‘millennial generation’ is calling home at a rate that would boggle the mind of past generations.”

Quinnipiac sophomore Amanda Bragg believes that calling home depends on the person, although she acknowledges the importance of keeping in touch with her parents.

“My mom lives in California so it is difficult because of the time changes to find a time when we both can talk at an appropriate time, but it doesn’t prevent me from calling her whenever I need to, or want to,” Bragg said. “But it definitely depends on the person. I like to talk to my parents, but some of my roommates barely ever call home and some call home every day.”

According to a study by the University of Minnesota, more than two-thirds of college students call their parents once a week and one-fifth call home more than once or twice a day.

Like many of her fellow students, sophomore Lea Aglione says she calls home every day.

“[If you don’t call] every parent will worry when they hear stories in the news about awful events that happen daily on campuses,” Aglione said.

Could the increase in new technology including text messaging, instant messaging or email have anything to do with the alleged increase in communication between college students and parents?

According to, a leading trends and statistics online source, college students are the most frequent technologically advanced cell phone users.

“I call home everyday. I don’t think a quick five minute, ‘Hello I’m alive’ means your losing your independence,” Aglione added.

However, a book titled “Letting Go” by author Karen Levin Colburn states: “The arrival of the ubiquitous cell phone has created not only convenience and ease of communication, but also a challenge to the process of letting go by providing a way for students and parents to always be able to reach each other.”

Colburn’s book goes on to say: “It can be great to keep in touch, but it can be overdone. The cell phone really changes the dynamic and expectation of communication between parents and students.”

All of the sources have a common tie, the belief that communication between college students and their parents is important. Calling home is a part of growing up.

The rate at which students are calling home is alarming, indicating that most students know the importance of maintaining ties and communication with their families. In the words of the classic Spielberg movie, “E.T.,” college students are still “phoning home,” although some are doing so more than others.


About Erin Miller