I tend to phone home every other day simply because "home" for me is 3000 miles away. I think that a good Facebook/email/text friendship with your family and parents is usually enough to keep them updated. Posting "Having a blast in this Chemistry class!" can update them instantly without the need to schedule an hour or two to talk.
Never forget to tell your parents you love them, let them know when you've had a bad day and ALWAYS mention that new TV you charged to your credit card by "mistake" *wink.
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