For Mother’s Day: how to make your parents feel special even when you’re a busy college student

    Courtesy of Elissa Gray

    We all know the Northwestern lifestyle. On top of class work and extracurriculars, we barely have time to hit the gym or party on weekends, let alone make the time to call our parents on a regular basis. Juggling the schedule of a college student is so all-consuming that we easily forget to contact the people who raised us and gave us the opportunity to be the crazy, overworked Wildcat that we are today. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are a few tips for how you can stay connected with your parents and show them how thankful you are for their existence (even if you don’t always act like it).

    1. Add your parents on Snapchat

    At first glance, this might seem like the worst idea of the century. First off, are parents even capable of using Snapchat? And second, do I really want to give them access to the wildest aspects of my life, such as frat parties and all-nighters? But listen: Snapchat has the option for you to block certain people from seeing your stories. That means you can still post those wild frat party pics for all your friends to see, while sending the sweet “look at me studying in the library” shots to your parents. Trust me, I added my mom on Snapchat and she has never felt happier. She even knows how to use filters now. It’s pretty cute.

    2. Make a family group chat

    I bet this is already pretty common, but if you haven’t already gotten on this bandwagon, it’s a must. This makes it super easy to share cute pictures, exchange loving Bitmojis and exciting announcements with your parents (and siblings, or whomever you want). This way, you won’t ever awkwardly leave a family member out when you’re sharing important news.

    3. Share your achievements

    If you can shamelessly brag to anyone about your success, it’s your parents. They live to see you thrive at college. You’re their greatest accomplishment. So when you ace that midterm, shoot them a text with a picture of your grade. Send them links to the articles you wrote for a student publication (like NBN). Or even an article that somebody wrote about one of your student group performances or athletic victories, if you’re on a sports team. Tell them anything and everything that makes you feel proud, because they are guaranteed to be just as thrilled.

    4. Mail them care packages

    This one takes a bit more effort, but it’s also such a sweet idea that I couldn’t resist. Many parents (mine included) love to send care packages full of random goodies. Who is to say you can’t do the same thing? Use your equivalencies to buy your parents’ favorite snacks from the C-store. Throw in some Northwestern merchandise from the bookstore if you’re feeling spendy. To top it all off, include a nice handwritten note that expresses just how grateful you are for them. Then simply wrap everything up in a box you probably have sitting around from an old Amazon Prime delivery. You’ll be able to make them feel just as loved as you do when you receive their care packages.

    5. Facetime them out of the blue

    Time is a valuable resource, and that makes it easy to forget to call your parents regularly. To right this wrong, set aside half an hour (especially on a special day like Mother’s Day) and give your parents’ numbers a call. Remind them how much you love them. They’ll appreciate that you missed them enough to reach out more than you can even imagine. To make it extra memorable, turn on Facetime (or Skype) and let them see your beautiful face. Last time I did that, my mom nearly cried. It was adorable.

    It’s not that hard to show your parents how grateful you are for everything they’ve done for you. Perhaps you have your life together enough to call them daily. If so, more power to you. But if not, I hope that these tips will inspire you to show your love in the spare moments you have between midterms, midterms and more midterms.


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