Summer is winding down, back-to-school commercials have hit TV stations, and stores all over the country have set up their school supply displays. If you’re an incoming college freshman, it can be more than a little intimidating.
The college transition is a big step. You’re going from a structured eight hour high school day to a college schedule, from home to dorm rooms, from the familiar to the relatively unknown. One of the biggest changes, of course, is being separated from your best friends. Where you once saw them every day at school or hung out all the time during summer, you now may only get to see them a few times a year. That can be a difficult pill to swallow.
So how do you keep friendships from “falling out of touch?” How can you maintain these bonds you’ve forged over many years? Luckily there are more ways to keep in touch now more than ever before. Technology and social media platforms allow people to communicate in an instant, making the distance between you and others feel a little bit shorter.
This may seem like a pretty obvious answer–and maybe it is–but between class time and studying, the thought might get buried. One of the greatest, and easiest, ways to keep connected is to just keep texting. Even simple conversation starters like “how are you” or “have any interesting classes” can help keep that friendship going.
Texting is a nice and simple way to stay updated and shoot each other constant messages–just don’t do it while in a lecture.
Facebook is an ideal platform to stay connected with your high school classmates. Whether they’re updating their status about fun events they’re attending or reminiscing about the good old days back in your hometown, it’s a way to maintain old friendships and keep that vein of nostalgia open.
The other upside to social media is the ability to share online articles, videos, or images with each other. You’d be amazed at how receiving a “Hey, this thing reminded me of you” message with a funny gif attached can brighten a person’s day. It reminds friends that you’re still thinking of them and still remember all those hilarious inside jokes.
Skype / FaceTime
Sometimes text just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need to hear a person’s voice or even see their face. Calling people over the phone or even setting up a Skype session may not be as convenient as texting or instant messaging over Facebook or Twitter, but being able to talk aloud with your bestie can make a world of difference.
You’re busy, they’re busy, college is a busy time–but making an effort and setting up a Skype schedule can chase away a little bit of that homesickness. It’s a great feeling seeing friends again, even if it’s through a computer screen.
This is, of course, contingent on how far away you or your friend ventured from home. But going home for the holidays or a weekend can come with the added benefit of visiting your friends. There’s nothing better than reuniting with people you haven’t seen in a while. Cue the tight hugs and screams. Whether it’s over a break or you’re returning home for some annual event, make an effort to get together with your friends during your stay.
As a personal example, my friends and I still go home every year for a big marching band competition–it’s been five years since we’ve graduated from that high school band, but we still try to make it back for that competition. It’s the highlight of our year because we’re all together again, reminiscing about the past.
All in all, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with your best friends. Sometimes it just takes a little effort, but it’s worth it in the end. You know what they say: New friends are silver, but old friends are gold.