You meet truly amazing friends in college; the people who will someday stand by you on your wedding day, babysit your kids, and even grow old with you. But while getting to know new friends is exciting, don't forget about the people who made growing up special.
We get it. It's hard to maintain long distance friendships. But though it can be difficult to find time to invest in long distance friendships, just a few simple measures can help keep those friendships strong. Here are some ways you can still invest in your friends back home!
1. Pick up the Phone
You will be busy from the moment you step onto campus for freshman orientation. The pace of college quickly sucks you into events, a buzzing social life, and loads of schoolwork. Although you want to engage with campus life, it's important to stay connected to your roots. You do not have to set aside hours to Skype call all of your friends. If you have ten free minutes, try calling one friend from home to exchange stories after your first weeks at college. Just a few minutes can help you stay connected during a busy semester.
2. Reconnect on Breaks
When you get home for fall break or at the end of a long semester it can be tempting to want to sleep for a week straight. Set aside some time to rest over breaks but don't forget about the people all around you! Your friends missed you while you were away at college, and they still care about you deeply. Spending just a few hours with them over winter break will help you to maintain relationships.
3. Share Your Experiences
It may feel more difficult to connect with your friends from home after you have spent some time away. Maybe you went away to college while your best friend stayed home to work. Perhaps you went to a large state school, while all of your closest friends went away to small liberal arts colleges. Instead of feeling out of touch with each other’s different experiences, use them as an opportunity to grow and connect on a new level. Share your thoughts and the various life lessons you have learned while attending school. You are not limited to the same social circles anymore, which means you have opportunities to learn even more from your longtime friends!
4. Try the Old-Fashioned Way
Remember how fun it was back in the day to pass notes back and forth or have a pen pal? When it comes to brightening someone's day, there really is nothing like a handwritten letter. Set aside time even just once a semester to let your friends know you are thinking of them! A long form letter lasts a lot longer than a text message, and is something that can be kept for years down the road.
5. Social Media is Your Friend
Social Media may have its downsides, but its also an easy way to let a friend know that they were on your mind. Send them your Snapchat stories, an article that made you think of them, or tag them in a meme. Even if you can't sit down with a friend for a long chat over coffee, there are ways to let them know you still value the friendship.
In college you find a community to enjoy life together, you each other get through difficult times, and grow together. With just a little extra work, that community can include those friends you have known since childhood.
All photos courtesy of unsplash.com.
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