As nearly everyone has experienced, life is bound to get extremely busy. Especially as a college student, it can feel as if you have hundreds of different responsibilities, needs, and wants pulling you in countless different directions.

So much so, that it can seem like an impossible feat to make time for everything (check out our article on surviving your freshman year in college if you need help managing).

While this is very much the case for a lot of us, one area in which it is most important to dedicate time towards, is family. For many of us, the ones we think of as family are those who have been with us through thick and thin. They have seen us at our worst, and yet still welcome us in with an open heart.

While for many people this is their parents, siblings, and grandparents, it does not always have to fit this traditional form. For some people, they consider their best of friends to be their family. No matter who you define as your family, one thing most of us can agree on is the importance of these people.

Because of how much we value these individuals in life, we never want them to feel as though they are unimportant to us. One of the best ways to avoid this, and show them how much we care, is through the simple act of spending time with one another.

Let’s discuss some of the best ways to make time for your family, along with some activities you can participate in together.

Ways to Make Time For Family

A family of four holding up letters which spell out “F-A-M-I-L-Y”.
Family is an important aspect of life. Because of this, it is good to come up with ways to make sure you are making time for your family. Image courtesy of The Hans India.

While it can be difficult to find time for things when you are busy, it is certainly not an impossible task. By following the tips below, you can construct the best strategy for carving out time for those closest to you.

Time Management

Time management is one of the most important skills to develop when trying to make time for your family. This skillset is what allows you to divide your time between your activities. For instance, in order to make more time for your family you may have to reevaluate your time management strategy.

This may come in the form of dedicating more of your free time towards getting ahead on homework, cutting down your daily workout by fifteen minutes, or by staying in more. All three of these options allow you to spend more time being productive, therefore giving you time to get greater volumes of work done. This results in having more time with family.

Make it a Priority

Making time for your family takes effort. Unlike when you were younger, in college you most likely live in a dorm rather than at home, so the dynamics shift slightly. This is due to the fact that you do not have built-in time set aside for each other everyday simply by living in the same house.

Therefore, it is extremely necessary to make spending time with your family a priority. If something is a priority to you, you are more likely to do what it takes to make it happen. This includes putting in the necessary effort to spend time with your family.

Plan Out Weekends to Travel Home

Once you know your class schedule, exam dates, and workload for the semester, planning out weekends in advance to travel home is a great way to ensure you spend time with your family. Having a preset date makes it easier to plan events around the date while maintaining the time set aside for your family.

It also allows you to hold yourself responsible for cancellations. Having a concrete date should, in theory, make you less reluctant to cancel on this date. This is because both you and your family have had plans together for a while during this specific time.

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Communicate Digitally

 A person communicating over a cell phone.
Technology allows us to easily communicate with family and friends through phone calls, FaceTimes, and texts. Image courtesy of ChangeBoard.

One of the great things about the way technology has advanced is its ability to connect us with our loved ones no matter where they are in relation to you. This is a great tool to use in order to make time for your family in a manner that is convenient for everyone involved.

One way to communicate digitally with your family is through phone calls, or better yet, FaceTimes. Apple products even give you the option to group FaceTime now, making it an even more valuable tool for families looking to stay connected over distance.

Additionally, even if you are unable to phone or FaceTime everyday, a simple text can go a long way in letting someone know you are thinking of them. Some texts you can send to your family include:

  • A text asking how their day was
  • A text with a funny Tik Tok video
  • A text with an interesting article attached
  • A simple good morning or goodnight text

Emojis are also a nice touch if you’d like to make the message feel even more personal and caring.

Activities to Do With Your Family

Now that we have covered some ways to make time for family, even as a busy college student, let’s discuss some fun activities you can participate in with said family.

Make Meals Together

Making meals together is the perfect way to bond as a family. You could assign each person a different job and all converse back and forth throughout the cooking process. Additionally, to make this even more joyful, you could have some music playing in the background. This is especially fun to do around the holidays when you can make festive baked goods.

Going Out to Eat

In addition to making meals together, another very fun activity to do as a family is going out to eat at a restaurant. With my family, whenever I am home from school we like to go out to a restaurant on the Friday night I arrive home. We call it “Friday Night Dinners” and it’s one of the highlights of the whole weekend for me.

Family Walks

Family walks are something many of us got very good at during the Covid-19 pandemic, and for many of us the trend has just continued. This is a great way to decompress all together, talk to one another, and get some fresh air. And, if you have a dog, this has the added benefit of giving your dog their exercise time.

If you are feeling in the mood for something different, rather than walk around your neighborhood, you could take your family on a local hiking trail or a nearby neighborhood different from your own.


Marshmallows being roasted over a bonfire.
Bonfires are super fun and a great way to spend quality time with your family. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Having a bonfire with your family is another fun activity to look forward to. It is a relaxing way to enjoy time outside while simultaneously staying warm. This is especially nice in the fall or winter time.

Additionally, if you have a portable speaker, you could also play music in the background of your conversation with your family. A great thing to do is to all go back and forth selecting songs so everyone gets a chance to listen to their favorite songs.

Movie Nights

Movie nights can truly be nights to remember with your family. Whether you choose to go to a movie theater, or simply watch the film in your living room, there is lots to look forward to. To get the full movie night experience, it is absolutely critical to dress comfy, eat popcorn, and pass around different types of candy.

Family Vacations

Family vacations are one of the best ways to spend quality time with your family. This is because you are truly together the whole time, which, yes, can possibly cause some arguments. However, you are sure to get countless funny and memorable stories out of these vacations.

Not to mention, anything you argue about during these vacations is sure to be something you’ll laugh about later.

The Importance of Family

Family, as we have already talked about, is extremely important. Even more important than a grade in a class or your upcoming exam. Because of this, making time for your family is one of the best things you can do for both yourself and them.

With the tips and tricks above, you are sure to be on your way towards spending more time with your family, and hopefully strengthening already strong bonds!

Nov 16, 2022