Ruth P. is a sophomore at college currently studying Elementary Education with an interest in Art History and Mass Communications. She enjoys blogging and whiling away the hours in museums
College is a great place to meet new people. Although not everyone makes friends right away, hopefully within the first month or two you’ll start talking to guys and girls who will someday be your roommates, your petsitters, or your best friends. However, just because you’re making new friends doesn’t mean you have to cut ties with everyone you knew in high school. Even if you and your best friend end up on opposite sides of the country, these simple tips should help you stay in touch, since sometimes you don’t need to wait until college to meet your future best man.
Skype is honestly the best way to lessen the miles between you and your best friends. It’s a free service, so as long as you have a computer with a webcam, you are only one quick download away from a real time chat with an old crony, Skype is great because it is the closest thing to really hanging out with your friends. You can see them, speak to them, and even have movie marathons. I live in a different city than two of my friends, so something fun we did last year was pick a TV show and then set aside that time every week to watch the show together over Skype. After a long weekend of studying, discussing the latest finale of Sherlock with my friends was a useful diversion. Also, you can use Skype to include each other in your unique college experiences, so neither of you feel forgotten or left out. For example, you might show them a tour of your dorm room, or ask them what they think you should wear on the first day of class.
- Celebrate the Holidays
This one is very important, as well as being extremely fun if you put a lot of effort into it. Holidays are my favorite days, but what if your friend can’t afford to go home for the holidays this year? Whether it’s Halloween, Christmas, or Labor Day, try to make the day extra special for your friend who you can’t be with. Text them a picture of some pumpkin-themed cookies, or go the extra mile and mail them a letter with fun confetti inside. Don’t forget their birthdays either. Be the first one to call them and wish them a happy day, or email them a coupon for “A Day at the Movies” for two, your treat, whenever you two are in same town again.
- Make up New Traditions
Something that I miss a lot since leaving my friends is the little inside jokes and anecdotes that spring from everyday adventures. A way to keep this going is to adopt new traditions that you do throughout the year. Maybe it’s a button from a band you two have in common that you trade every time you see each other. Perhaps it’s a Friday Night Tea and Book Club where you call each other up every Friday to try a new tea and talk about a book. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, or time consuming, or overly thought out. The point is that you two have something fun to do every now and then so you don’t get stuck in a conversation rut.
- Go the Distance
Although talking, celebrating, and doing fun things together are cornerstones of a lasting friendship, nothing beats being with those people in person. This is probably the hardest tip on this list, since travel is expensive and it can be hard to match up each other’s schedules. Something I have learned since starting college, though, is that seeing your friends is always worth the time and money. So whether you have to buy a greyhound ticket instead of something for yourself, or drive four hours because your friend’s dog just passed away, you make that trip. The friends you meet in college are great, but remember that the friends you made in high school liked you when you were fourteen. Anyone that listened while you ranted about your terrible parents or your first date is in this friendship for the long haul.