Back in the day when I attended college, keeping in touch with my parents was simple. I had a phone in my dorm room that I called them on or they called me on. We tried not to stay on the phone all that long since we were charged by message units which was related to both distance and time on the phone. I went to college in Manhattan and my parents lived in Massapequa which is on Long Island. There was also the occasional letter. Those students whose parents lived out of town had a different issue that some of us chronologically gifted people may know as long distance charges. Some dorms did not have phones in their rooms but there was a payphone in the hall. That created a different issue of trying to keep the call short since you may not have had much change, collect call charges could be expensive and there may have been a line to use the phone.
Today things are totally different. Almost all college students have cell phones
and there is Skype and iChat for video conferences. The cell phone
provider you use at home may not have a strong signal where your child
is at school. As a parent, it may be worthwhile for you to change
cellphone providers or it may be more beneficial for your college
student to get a cell phone plan of their own with a provider that has
good cell phone reception at their school.
There is also video
chatting. Skype and iChat are the two big ones here. We’ll keep our
discussion to Skype as this works on both PC and Macs. iChat is a
proprietary program that only works on Apple products. With Skype you
can talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere, any length for free provided you
are speaking with someone who is also using Skype. The only charge would
be for internet connection fees if any. This is just like at home.
One other possibility to think about is Magic Jack. For a $70.00 initial investment
and a $30.00 annual subscription you can make unlimited calls to the
USA and Canada from anywhere in the world where there is an internet
You will or should be having discussions with your
college child about the new experiences they will be having. You also
will need to also discuss how you will be communicating with him or her
while they are away. Will their college friends be using the same cell
phone provider? Will you and your child have the same cell phone
provider? If an emergency was to arise how will you get in touch?
of what plan you choose, your student should also bring an Ethernet
cord with them. If your student lives in a dorm where there is an
Ethernet connection you and them will be glad particularly if the
Ethernet connection is the only way for them to connect to the internet.
you have additional questions about keeping in touch with your college
child I can be reached at (917) 572-3468 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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