Maintaining friendships with college friends over the summer can be hard because being so far away from them over the summer is a very drastic shift from seeing them all day, every day. With that environmental change, your friendships with those people can also change. But that doesn't mean your friendships should end! Remember, these were people who you became to know so quickly: people whom you could go and visit during any time of the day! Friends like these make friendships that are built to last, especially when you implement these five ways to help them stay strong over the summer! 

1. Social Media

This method requires the least amount of commitment, which may be what works best for your friendship. There are no obligations and it's an easy yet flexible way to keep up with each other's lives and check in with one another. Liking each other's Instagram posts or viewing each other's Snapchat stories can be a good way to indirectly maintain your friendships and stay in each other's lives, even if you're not necessarily doing it actively.

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2. Group Chats

This is a more direct and active way to maintain friendships over the summer. Rather than posting for the world to see, you're posting just for specific people, which makes it more personal— sometimes, that's all you need! Sending messages about what you're up to or sending random questions about school-related topics are a great way to can continue talking even though you're not seeing each other every day.

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3. Making plans in advance for the following school year.

If you want to keep in touch with people whom you only know through a specific setting, such as academic life or residential life, then you can figure something out before the summer starts, such as deciding to take a class together or deciding to live in the same dorm in the upcoming semester. That way, you'll have something to talk about and something to look forward to during the summer. Also, the friendship won't fizzle away because you made sure of it before the summer even started!

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4. Letters

This is something not too many people think to do, but I do it all the time and I can honestly say that letters are my absolute favorite form of communication (besides in-person conversations, of course!). Mailing super long letters to each other is so much more fun than it may sound and you can really update each other on your lives this way! You can say as much as you want and in as much detail as you want: it's something you'll definitely look forward to receiving every few weeks.

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5. Get together! 

This may be the hardest way to keep in touch over the summer and it probably isn't something you want to do unless you've gotten very close with a particular person but meeting in person is a very viable option! If they live close by, then this is something you can do whenever you want. But if you're in the mood for a cross-country road trip, then it may require a bit more planning. Nevertheless, if it's possible to do, it can be so much fun!

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There are lots of ways to continue a friendship that started in college, even if you're not in college at the moment. Many friendships are worth the effort and if you're able to make it work, it can be very rewarding. You'll get back to school and be able to catch up with friends you used to live with without missing a beat. Still, that's not to say there aren't friendships that can work even if you don't stay in touch over the summer! Each relationship is unique and requires different things. So do whatever carries the least pressure and what feels most right. At the end of the day, don't force yourself to do something if you know it won't be worth it. Find a balance and it'll probably pay off when you return for the following school year!

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