Sure, you’ve made friends in your dorm, and they seem great so far. But there’s nothing like a smile from your dad that warms your heart and makes you feel fuzzy inside. Being far away from your family doesn’t mean you need to lose the closeness you have with them, it just means you need to get creative with your communication methods. Thanks to technology doing its thing, it’s easier than ever to get some love from back home and to let your people know that, even though you’re away, you’re still there in spirit.
FaceTime on the new iPad Air 2 is not like any old phone call. It’s an ideal and innovative way to keep scheduled weekly dates with your loved ones. The HD image display enables you to see everything that happens on the other end in real time without having to worry about blurring or lagging. The tablet is so light and mobile that you can give family members tours of your room and even your campus, making it feel like they’re right there with you. It’s an ideal way to show your new life and give your parents comfort that you are taking good care of yourself.
Basically a private chat room for the members of your choice, Wi-Fi-based apps like GroupMe allow you to text with as many people as you want for free. Because it works on every device, Android, iOS and Windows users can all play nice. Text with your peeps whenever, wherever.
WhatsApp is another cross-platform mobile messaging app that is free to use. Send images, video and audio messages to groups you create. It also can connect you with friends and family internationally.
Fill an empty Altoid box with small, random items, and send it back and forth with your high school BFF or your mom. Put a tiny letter, stickers, flower petals, an embarrassing photo or a test you received an A on into the tin. This is a cheap and easy way to make each other feel special.
Words with Friends, Trivia Crack and Draw Something are fun game apps that keep you in communication with your loved ones in a fun and competitive way. Playing a round doesn’t take a lot of time, and you feel as if you are right there playing together. Use game apps between classes, when you need a quick study break or just whenever you have a quick minute.
Google+ Hangouts is a great tool to get together for a group video chat, voice chat or instant message. You can get up to 10 family members together on a Hangout live video call. Hangouts works on all computers, tablets and phones so no one is left out.
Also, Google Hangouts instant messenger lets individuals or groups chat it up together and share images and emojis, even while they are at work. This IM platform works only when logged into your Google+ account through your Gmail.
It doesn’t seem like a letter is inventive, but since people hardly ever send mail these days, it makes the thought feel extra special. Sending a handwritten note in the mail to your mom is sure to brighten her week. And she will return the favor. Maybe with extra gifts, too.