1. Plan a “staycation."
No matter where you live, chances are there are some interesting places around your town (or at least within a fifty mile radius) that you’ve somehow missed out on in the last eighteen years. Now’s the time to check them out. Make a day with your friends to visit a museum, landmark or even a store you’ve never experienced - it will give you a reminder to cherish your hometown in the final days before you depart for school.
2. Go back and revisit the good old days.
Similar to the first suggestion, why not visit some familiar haunts from your youth while you’re at it? Places you’ve had inside jokes or special experiences with your friends are the best examples. Maybe it’s the playground of your elementary school, the skate park where you sprained your ankle in middle school or even somewhere totally random no one else would think of (I definitely have those places). Either way, visiting these places with your BFFs will be a nice way to think back on your lives together.
3. Make them a scrapbook.
This idea might be harder depending on how many mementos you’ve salvaged from your youth, but like just about everything on this list, it’s totally flexible what you decide to do with it. Pull together some fun pictures, programs, tickets, stickers or anything else that reminds you of the friendship you’ve had with your friends. It will give them a great collection of memories to take with them to college and remind them of you when they’re missing home.
4. Introduce them to your college.
Unless they applied to the college themselves, chances are your friends aren’t too familiar with the place you’re about to call home for the next four years (maybe more). With that in mind, give your friends a formal introduction to your school. Depending on where it is, go on a visit and show them around campus; if that’s not an option, use Google Earth. The least you can do is give them some sort of swag to represent your college; a t-shirt, water bottle or lanyard will give them another fond memory of you.
5. Become pen pals.
This option is more of something you can accomplish once you’re actually in college, but now is a good time to start laying the groundwork for a pen pal relationship come school. Make plans for some kind of exchange every week or so, whether it be a letter or a care package. Even a well-written email can suffice. Make sure you have each other’s definite addresses, and don’t forget to check with your schools to clarify their procedures for receiving mail (is there a mail slot in your dorm, or do you have to go to another building?).
6. Bake them something.
If you’re already a pro at baking, look up some kind of whimsical recipe for them to enjoy; thematic cupcakes are always a crowdpleaser. If you’re just a novice, baking is a good skill to have for college anyway; try learning now with a simple favorite like chocolate chip cookies. Either way, making your friend a sweet treat is a great way for them to remember you fondly before you’re on your way.
7. Make them a playlist.
There’s something about a set of songs curated just for you that make you feel special and loved. You can choose these songs based on their lyrics, or you can make the playlist comprised of songs from your youth. A fun twist on this idea is to burn the playlist onto a CD to commemorate the days of your youth when a “mixtape” was a tangible object, not just a collection of digital files. No matter how you do it, the playlist and its songs will be great way for your friends to think of you when you’re apart.
All of these ideas are either free or fairly inexpensive, so get started on them today. At the very least, it will give you a break from your dorm packing!
Lead Image Credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com