Building and Maintaining Healthy Relationships

How your student can create a community in college

July 20, 2022

College can be a great time to build new relationships or strengthen existing ones. Regardless if the relationship is with a friend, parent, sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend or roommate there are basic tips you can use to keep them healthy. Encourage your student to build, create and maintain healthy relationships throughout their college experience with the following suggestions:


Communication: this is the foundation for any healthy relationship! This could include taking the time to be there, genuinely listening, ask questions and share information.


Dependability: if you make plans with someone, follow through with those plans. Relationships need to be built on trust, and if you have made a commitment or responsibility to do something-you need to.


Fairness: relationships can have conflict, but what you do with that conflict is most important. Don’t criticize, say you’re sorry when you’re wrong, recognize and validate all parties’ feelings (you don’t have to agree with them), and don’t hold grudges.


Balance: learn to fulfill yourself and don’t just depend on others to do that. College can create new challenges and often times it may take a while to find the right balance between academics and socializing. Try not to overload on activities.


Be you: bring your authentic and genuine self into every relationship. Don’t fit the mold someone else wants or expects.


Maintaining relationships with those “back home” might take a different approach than creating new ones at college. Rely on social media, facetime, text, calls and the dozens of technology modalities we have to stay close and connected. You can change and grow while at college and still preserve previous relationships. However, encourage your student if a relationship no longer makes them feel happy or worthy, they can leave a relationship! Cheers to making and maintaining lifelong relationships!


Visit https://www.ewu.edu/apply/admitted/nstfp/get-connected/ to discover departments, programs, clubs, organizations and other ways to get connected on campus and build new skills, relationships and connections.


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