Moving on to college means moving on to a lot of new things. New schedule, new place, new lifestyle, new friends, new everything. Just because you’re making new friends in college doesn’t mean staying in touch with high school friends isn’t important too. High school friends made the last four (if not more) years of your life great- so why shouldn’t they have a part in making the rest of your life great? Despite our best intentions, staying in touch can be really hard. Everyone has a different schedule now, and you don’t have the convenience of seeing each other every day at school, or maybe even the convenience of being nearby. Here's eight ways to remember your friends once you've gone different directions in college.
1. Create a “check in.”
One of the most common ways friends drift apart is never having the “right time” to talk to them. By creating a schedule to check-in with, you ensure that every week (or whatever time you agree on), you’ll catch up. Maybe every Sunday you can text a group chat the funniest thing that happened to you, or every Thursday night you FaceTime your best friend. Maybe you send each other the best picture you find on Facebook or Tumblr every day. No matter what, you can find a way that you’ll consistently talk and stay in touch.
2. Friendship bracelets.
Summer camp friends know the power of friendship bracelets for long-distance friendships. Lots of campers don’t get to see their friends all school year, but they the strings on their wrist to remember them by. You can keep it really simple with a braid, try out a Chinese Staircase or give one of the designs at friendship-bracelets.net a try.
3. Trade t-shirts.
Every college has a book shop with just as many t-shirts as educational materials. When you go to school for orientation, buy a few of the simple ones for your friends. When they wear your friends’ t-shirts, you’ll think of them, and probably text them to let them know. Maybe your new friends at college will ask you about the shirt and you’ll have a chance to reminisce about the good old days of high school, with your best friend.
4. Exchange letters (before leaving for school).
Nothing is more comforting in a stressful or scary situation than comforting words from someone you trust. Before leaving for school, exchange letters with your friends and keep them in a little box by your school desk, so they are always there when you need them. The letters should be reassuring and encouraging, they can be funny or cheesy, or whatever represents your friendship and makes you happy. College is full of lots of new things and different situations, so a comforting note from home just might calm your nerves.
5. Make playlists.
With Spotify, 8tracks and iTunes, it’s incredibly easy to put together a playlist of songs and share them with your friends. Put together some songs that you really like for a certain mood or situation, and share them with your friends. You can put together the songs that formed the soundtrack of your senior year, or have a constantly changing list of new songs that everyone should give a listen.
6. Keep up a Snapchat streak.
Snapchat makes it very easy to know who you’ve been keeping in touch with. If you’re keeping up a Snapchat streak, you have to say or show something to your friend every day. Sending pictures and videos really gives you the opportunity to share moments of your everyday life, not just whatever stories you decide to tell. See if you can make it through the whole semester or year while Snapchatting your friends every day. If you have a defined friend group, compete to see who Snapchats who the most (it lists “best friends” in order).
7. Make collages together.
How can you hang up the most photos of your friends with the least difficulty? Collages! Get together with your friends, buy a poster board for each of you and print out lots of pictures of your favorite memories together. Go through your camera roll, Facebook and Instagram to find the best photos of everyone and the most adventurous things you’ve done. Spend a couple hours with glue and scissors putting them all together, and you’ve got a bunch of pictures of your friends, ready to put on the wall with just a few pieces of adhesive putty.
8. Send letters (in the mail).
Writing letters takes time and effort, but can be a lovely way to stay in contact. You can make your letters as nice or as simple as you want (you can even include drawings or trinkets). If you can find postcards from your college or town, you can send those too, as a reminder of living in a cool new place. You can send letters with made-up crossword puzzles or word searches. If you are studying similar subjects, you could send your friend a tidbit from a lesson that you really enjoyed. Physical things often carry more weight than digital messages, and who doesn’t get excited when they have something in their mailbox.
No matter what you decide to do, deciding how you’re going to stay in touch is the best way to ensure that you do. By deliberately and thoughtfully working to remain friends, you’re taking the steps to keep your friendships strong, no matter what changes in college.
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