For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Aug 30 2016
by Evelyn Koch

7 Ways to Make Long Distance Friendships a Little Easier

By Evelyn Koch - Aug 30 2016

Just last week, I had to leave my best friend in the entire world and travel 900 miles away from her to go to college. It broke my heart to see her so sad to see me go, but being my best friend, she knew she had to let me do what was best for me.

While it's true that you'll probably never see most of the people you went to high school with again, that doesn't mean you have to let all of those relationships go. Treasure the special ones. Stick around for the people who have always had your back.

Now, when I say stick around, I don't mean it in a literal sense. You shouldn't pick a college solely based on the fact that your best friend goes there. Sometimes friends both want and need different things when it comes to college. My best friend wanted to stay local for financial and personal reasons, whereas I couldn't wait to go out of state. But it didn't matter. We knew our friendship could survive anything - even a massive distance barrier. Before I left, I promised my friend, and myself, that I would always be there for her, even if I couldn't physically do so.

Below I have made a list of ways to keep in touch with your good friends and to help keep your relationships strong, no matter how big the distance is between you.

1. Make "Open When" Letters

This is an amazing project which was originally made for long distance relationships, but it can work just as well for friendships. The idea is to pre-write a bunch of letters to your friend with each one being for a different scenario. Some examples include "Open When You're Sad," "Open When You Miss Me" and "Open When You've Had a Bad Day." This gives your friend the opportunity to hear from you when they need to even if you're busy at the moment. The best part is you can write as many as you want. Look to Pinterest for even more inspiration.

2. Just Be Pen-Pals

Maybe you've already moved into your new dorm and/or don't have the time to do the "open when" letters project - this doesn't mean you can't send letters to your friend. You can agree to be pen-pals. There's something personal about receiving a hand written note. Plus having a paper in front of you allows you to be more descriptive than text messages, so you can give your friend every possible detail. If you want to do this, just be sure there is a post office on or near your campus.

3. Keep Pictures of You Together in Your Room

This option doesn't allow you to contact your friend, but it can help you feel like they're always there. Having pictures up can help you recall on some of the best memories you've had together and serve as a constant reminder of why you became friends in the first place.

4. Text Each Other Just like You Normally would Back Home

Just because your friend isn't there experiencing everything with you, doesn't mean they don't want to hear about it. Let them know about all the things that are happening to you - good and bad. Texting often works better than letters in some ways because, while the messages are shorter, they are instant. This way you can guarantee that your friend will see your message and hopefully reply quick. Just pretend you're back home. Anything you would text them then, you can text them now. I promise, you won't be annoying them. If you're good friends, they're dying to hear from you too.

5. Synchronize Your Schedules

I recommend using an app called Timespread. This app allows you to put in both your's and your friend's schedule and it can mix the two together. This can let you both see when you both have classes and when you are both free. Also, if you and your friend are going to be in different time zones make sure you take that into account when you put your schedules in.

6. Call or Face-Time Every so Often

Sometimes what you really need is to hear their voice or see their face. That's why you should make time to either call or Face-Time them. This will allow your conversations to move freely since you won't have to wait for replies. Seeing or hearing them allows you to be more personal and you can say a lot more than you could in a text or even a letter.

7. Remember You're Trying to Make New Friends, not Trying to Replace Them

This is possibly the most important part. Don't go searching around your college for someone exactly like your best friend because you won't find them. Your best friend is unique and even if you find a new best friend while in college, your old best friend's personality can never be replaced. By all means, go out and look for new friends, but just remember that your new friends are there to add to your friend group.

So don't let anyone tell you that high school, middle school or even elementary school friendships aren't worth anything. If you're truly good friends, it wasn't just close proximity that was keeping you together. And it is totally  possible to make new friends while still holding on to the past ones that are special to you.

Lead Image Credit: via Unsplash

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Evelyn Koch - Youngstown State University

Evelyn will be a freshman this fall at Youngstown State University and she is currently undecided on a major. She loves wrtiting and musical theatre. You can follow her on twitter @_legallyginger

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