Last weekend my best friend from high school came to visit. We had an old-fashioned sleepover, complete with movies from our middle school years, gossip, and junk food and it was an absolutely blast.
There’s so much that happens in our day to day lives that friends from home don’t see, so I loved being able to show M my life at college, introducing her to new friends and showing her around campus. My high school friends and I chose colleges all around the country- from Boston to Atlanta, New York to San Francisco- so we knew staying in touch would be a challenge. We’ve always made it a priority, but busy college schedules mean that FaceTime-ing your friends isn’t always at the top of your to-do list. After almost 2 years of college, we’ve worked out a pretty great system for staying in touch, so I thought I’d share some of my tips with you.
1. Start early
No one wants to believe that they are the friend group that’s going to dissolve as soon as they leave for college, but it happens to a lot of people. I recommend making concrete plans you can stick to during the summer before you all leave. Once you’re all settled in, it’ll be so much easier to stay in touch when you already have a schedule.
2. Be realistic
College students are busy. That’s just a fact. It’s pretty rare that I can get a group of more than 6 friends together for dinner because everyone’s schedules are so different, and we all go to the same school. Add in different time zones, and it makes it a real challenge to carve out time to talk. Don’t say that you’re going to talk to your best friend for an hour every afternoon, because lots of things will get in the way of that. Instead, find one time every week or every other week that you can really stick to- it’ll make it that much more exciting when you call or FaceTime each other.
3. Use social media!
Social media can be an awesome tool for staying in touch, and there are tons of apps and websites you can utilize. Create a secret Facebook group, a shared snapchat account, or a private blog so you can share everything that’s happening in your life. My friend group was fairly big, so our Facebook group makes it easy to post articles, buzzfeed quizzes, and videos in our group so everyone can see them.
4. Find traditions
My friends and I do a weekly update in our Facebook group. Every Sunday, someone starts a post and everyone else comments 3 things that happened that week. Sometimes it’s exciting news about an internship, sometimes a funny story, or sometimes a request for advice. It’s something I look forward to every week and something I share uniquely with my group of high school friends.
5. Send mail
There is nothing better than opening up your mailbox to find something from a friend. Postcards are a fun and inexpensive way to show friends where you live. Pick some up that feature pictures of your college or the city where you live and send them out on a random day so your friends will be surprised. You can also send cards for birthdays, valentines’ day, halloween, etc. I write and address cards at the beginning of the semester then put the day I need to mail them on my calendar- it takes less than 5 minutes to put a card in the mailbox, so if you have them all ready to go you won’t forget once school gets busy. Care packages are a little more expensive so they depend on your budget, but I like using the small flat-rate shipping boxes to send candy and small trinkets for birthdays or holidays (they’re only $5 each!)
Do you have any traditions with your high school friends? Let us know in the comments!
Kate “Easter candy will be the death of me”