It’s that time of year again…the sun is shining, the temperatures are up, and you and your friends are back to your hometowns for 3 months. It’s not always easy to depart from the people you spend so much of your year with, so here’s some tips on staying close despite the distance.
Skype is the best. It’s free, pretty easy to use, and lets you communicate face to face, so you don’t have any tone or expression miscommunication that can accompany texting or phone calls. Even if you’re not big on talking via webcam, there are a ton of ways to stay close with friends this way. You could try Skyping for 15 minutes every night just to catch up on the highlights of each other’s day, or you could Skype once a week and watch your favorite TV show together while discussing over commercial breaks. Whatever it is that you guys can virtually bond over, whether it be playing Pictionary or sharing funny memes, Skype has got your back.
(Unless you’re having a 3-or-more-way Skype call…then Skype has your back for a small monthly fee.)
I did my freshman year at community college, while most of my friends went off to universities that were over 100 miles away. One of my best friends introduced me to Snapchat and ever since I’ve thought that it’s a great way to keep up-to-date with what you and your friends are doing while on separate turf. Additionally, Snapchat lets you incorporate short captions, Emojis, and draw pictures on your photos to give them a touch of personalization.
This is especially good if you’re trying to keep in touch with your friend group. Most smartphones have a group message feature, as well as Facebook. This allows as many people as you want to talk and share pictures quickly and often. Group messaging also saves you from having to send multiple messages to different people about what’s going on in your life.
Whether it’s once a month or once a week, (mainly depending on exactly how far away you are from each other and how much you’re willing to spend on gas) seeing each other in person trumps all other communication forms. Remember, you don’t have to travel to the lost city of Atlantis to have a great time. Try to figure out if you and a friend could meet in the middle somewhere for a day of fun, or plan a giant get-together for a few days over the summer when you know people will be easily available.
Make an Effort
Miss someone? Tell them. Shoot them a text message or send them a picture of a good time you had together and re-tell all the old stories. If you come across something funny that you know a friend would appreciate, post it to their Facebook wall. A simple “hey, how have you been; what have you been up to,” etc. text can go a long way. If you’re on the phone or chatting on Skype, be a good friend and give whoever you’re talking to your undivided attention.
Everyone Loves Surprises
If you have any of your friends’ home addresses, don’t hesitate to write them a letter (bring-back-letter-writing-movement 2014), send them some photos with memories of you both (Target does super cheap photo printing), or even send them a personalized summer care package. Nowadays, getting personal mail is a rare thing, so little things like these will be sure to brighten someone’s day.
You don’t have to own a pair of magical pants to keep your long distance friendship alive (although let’s be real The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was the shiznit back in the day and we all wanted that friendship bond). With a little extra communication effort combined with that crazy little thing called love, you and your friends will still be able to have a summer full of inside jokes and memory-making. August move-in will be here before you know it!