Leaving your friends behind, and going off to start a life of your own in college can be a daunting task. You’ve spent most of your life trying to gather a close circle of friends and find people you could trust with anything. How are you supposed to deal with being hundreds of miles away from them? Here are a few simple ways to make sure your best friends don’t leave your life, even if you’ve both left your hometown.
1. Call them on a regular basis.
While it may seem simple, talking to someone on the phone is more connective than just sending a quick text. Hearing your best friends voice can be comforting on a bad day, or just simply make you feel as though they are a little bit closer to you.
2. Make time in your schedule to Facetime and Skype.
Not being able to see your best friend every day can be difficult. One way to remedy this is to video chat whenever you both have time to have a good conversation. “Try and Skype as much as possible, it’s different than texting,” said AJ Abrams-Flohr, a undeclared freshman at Colorado State University. “Getting some face time in is really nice.” Give your friend a tour of your room, tell them about your day and show them your fantastic view, just so they can feel like they are right by your side.
3. Text/Snapchat as much as possible.
While you do want to be close to your friends through things such a Skype, you also can’t constantly be talking to each other through video chat. Sending a quick text, when both of you are busy, is a great way to quickly catch up. “Mostly my friends and I snapchat every day, and we try to Skype when it’s convenient,” said Julia Jones, a freshman business administration major at CSU. “We try to line up our schedules to see when we are free.” You most likely won’t have the same schedules and will be busy adjusting to your new life, so a text or snapchat can simply say: “I’m thinking about you!”
4. Keep doing the things you used to do together.
Some activities can still be done when you are states apart. For Abrams-Flohr, that activity is online gaming. “I met most of my friends through gaming before we went to college, so still doing that online is a great way for us to still be friends,” said Abrams-Flohr. “It’s an activity we enjoy and helps us maintain those friendships.” Try and find something that you and your long distance friend can do together while away at school.
5. Send each other care packages.
Care packages are very thoughtful and really show that you, well, care! Sending your friend their favorite candy, a new book you think they’d like, or a picture of you together will help them feel closer to you, and to the friendship you both treasure. “If we aren’t feeling lazy, we will send each other a card or a box of stuff,” said Jones. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but getting a special surprise every once in awhile can be really exciting, for the both you you.
6. Support them in activities they are doing in school.
It’s very important to be a supportive friend during the time you are miles, or even states away, from your best friend. Even though you wish they could be right beside you, letting them grow in their own way is very important to improving as people. So support their decisions and be their number one fan every step of the way. Encourage them to join things, make new friends and to have a great time in college. Watching your friends bloom into everything great you knew they could be is a very wonderful thing, and having your support will mean the world to them.
7. Visit them, if you can.
This step is not the most practical, especially if your friend goes to college in a different state. However, if you have a chance to visit them, you should most definitely take advantage of the opportunity. If the time works for both of you, it will be fun to be able to see them in person. “Take turns visiting each other when possible,” said Julia Perbohner, a ecosystem science and sustainability freshman at CSU. “If I had the chance to visit my friends back home, I absolutely would!” Seeing each other for the first time in a while is a memory you’ll want to have, so you’ll want to do whatever possible to make it happen!
Keeping friends while in college can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are simple ways to keep in contact, to make sure the friendships you spent such a long time building doesn’t fade away. You’ll want to have someone to turn to during the good times, as well as the bad. Do whatever you can to make sure your friendships from back home stay healthy and strong!