College is so awesome.
I mean the number one priority in college (OTHER THAN MAKING PERFECT GRADES, GUYS) is to make friends. Everything surrounds socializing and meeting new people and connecting and having fun! There are clubs and study groups and mixers and so many fun things to do with lots of humans. Of course you have the breaks during the summer and over the holidays, but it’s all good because you get to go back to your hometown with all of your high school buds. It’s seriously the perfect balance.
AND THEN YOU GRADUATE.
Friendships after college tend to look a bit different. People scatter for jobs, trips abroad, or graduate programs, and it’s a lot harder to stay in touch. All of a sudden, you look around, and the majority of your friends DON’T live in the same city as you do. And it totally sucks. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have friends anymore, it just means you have to change up your tactics. SO here is how you deal with long distance friendships.
1. Use Social Media
If you aren’t the best at keeping up with people, there are ways to still feel connected. So you have your bi-monthly chat on the phone, and you Skype a few times as well, but you aren’t really in daily contact. Social media is a GREAT way to rectify this. Tag your bestie on a funny Instagram picture that reminds you of her. Comment on their photos/statuses to let them know you’re thinking about them. Send funny snapchats to make them laugh. Whichever medium you prefer to use, incorporate it into your long distance friendships to keep the momentum going.
2. Set a Routine
It’s good to get in the rhythm of calling certain people at certain times. A lot of times we put calling our friends on our to-do list, but then we forget or get caught up in something. So instead, don’t set a specific time, but set a specific activity that prompts you to call people. I like to call people when I walk places, when I’m driving to/from the gym (on Bluetooth, I am safe), or as I’m getting ready for the day on Saturday or Sunday. It’s just my rhythm, and it makes it easier for me to call or text people. So find one that works for you, and you’ll feel much better about keeping in touch.
3. Find Some Local Buds
You don’t need to feel guilty about finding new buds. You aren’t replacing your best friends, you’re being a human. Everyone deserves to have some brunch buds or wine weirdos in their life! How would we function otherwise? It’s totally okay to branch out and meet new people that you enjoy socializing with. Not everyone has to be your best friend. And who knows, some of these new people you meet in your area could turn out to be perfectly amazing. Change is always hard, but it’s good to be socially invested in your surroundings. Your besties will obviously understand, and know that she will always be on a pedestal no matter who you let in your life. But in the mean time, you have to stop being miserable and start being social. And brunch.
4. Accept that Not Everyone Will Last
As we mentioned before, college is a prime time for making friends. And part of the reason is because, there are a lot of rituals that yield bonding. Different clubs and sororities have traditions that bring people together, hard final exams and projects necessitate cooperation, and close living quarters naturally ignite close friendships. But what happens when these things all of a sudden vanish? Do friendships last even though the catalysts are gone?
The sad answer is, not all of them do. But that’s ok. Not every friendship is meant to last a lifetime. In fact, if they all did, we would probably chop a solid 10 years off our life expectancy just out of pure exhaustion. The key is, don’t take it personally. In life, you’ve got your ‘casual buddies’ and your ‘best buddies.’ The former are your friends that you can share a laugh with, have a few drinks, and enjoy the evening. They might lack depth and pure connection, but they offer a lot of entertainment. But no matter how great they are, they can’t hold a candle to the lifers. Those are the girls that you understand no matter what, and you will always be there for them. You will always love them. Invest your time in keeping your lifer friendships alive, because the social buddies will come and go no matter where you are.
5. Use FaceTime
If there aren’t a million weddings popping up in your friend sphere, you definitely need to put in some face time with your besties. But…not everyone has extra cash sitting around for visits. So, instead, use the techie version of FaceTime. We do it all the time with our clients, and I think we can both say we get the same connection and rapport out of videoconferencing as we would in person communicating. Fo sho. So give it a shot. Interacting with each other via audio AND video will help you guys feel closer. Have coffee dates over Skype and catch up with your life! So what if you can’t sit in a Starbucks together anymore? Pretty sure you both have access to coffee and you both have access to a smart phone or a laptop. Or else you wouldn’t be reading this. So give it a whirl.
Let yourself feel like your friends are right by you, because through technology, they can be.
Feeling a bit lonely while adjusting to the distance? Talk it out with us. Not only do we listen, but we help you bounce back during this rough time. (We know, it sucks). Come hang out with us today!