You may be having the time of your life while in school, but your parents may be going crazy. They want you to call every night; you think you're independent now and should only call when you feel like it. Keeping them updated about all that is new and exciting in your life doesn't have to be a chore.
•Call them -- and take their calls when they call you. You don't have to call them every day, and you don't have to take their calls every time they want to talk, but at least respect their desire to know what's going on with you. Ignoring the phone calls will just make it worse!
•Send emails. Your folks probably know that your schedule is crazy, and that calling isn't always an option. If you're up late, think they might already be asleep, and have a few minutes before going to bed, send them a quick email. It doesn't have to be too long or detailed, but at least let them know how you're doing.
•Send them text messages. It doesn't take much time or effort to send a message saying "Just got my test back - B+!" or "Just took my first salsa dancing class!" Even if your parents have no idea how to text back, they'll appreciate you thinking of them. (Reminder: not all parents know common text messaging acronyms. Be patient.)
•Have a set time to call. It may seem annoying at first, but it will help to ensure you update them on a regular basis -- and that they won't call you ten million other times during the week. (Or that, if they do, you can gently remind them of your upcoming time to talk!)
•Set a number of days you can go without checking in. If the preset time to call doesn't work for you, agree to call or otherwise touch base every certain number of days.
•Use IM with your parents. IM may have been something you used to communicate around your parents before you started college, but that doesn't mean you can't use it to keep in touch with them now. Plus, you can always use it as proof that you are on the computer doing homework!
•Use your webcam. It's easy to set up, only has to last for a few minutes, and will make your parents happy.
•Send an old-fashioned letter or card. It doesn't have to be fancy, but for a couple of bucks and the cost of a postage stamp, you can send your parents an unexpected greeting.