When it comes to long distance relationships, everyone’s mind immediately goes to romantic relationships, which blatantly ignores the fact that long distance friendships exist. Whether you’re graduating, know someone who is or are just going home for the summer, you aren’t going to be on campus every day with your friends anymore. But just because your time on campus is coming to an end doesn’t mean your friendships have to do the same.
We live in the 21st century where a lot of people start friendships with people online and talk to them daily. We’re no longer limited by geography. Between texting, Snapchat, video calls and tens of different platforms for group chats, it’s not that hard to keep in touch with people. The main issue isn’t even the ability to stay in touch, but actually doing it. People get busy, and it can be easy to forget about the people you don’t see every day.
Firstly, start a Snapstreak, or make sure you continue yours. Seeing their face or their name pop up on your phone every day keeps them present in your life. You get to see small pieces of their life every day, and it’s an easy way to lead into conversations. You’ll be less likely to let them slip your mind in your busy life.
Schedule video calls
Load up Skype, Facetime, Snapchat or whatever you prefer to call your friends on, and talk to them face to face! It’s so much more personal than texting. Use it as a time to catch up and visually show your friend parts of your life. Take them on a tour of your apartment, drag your new boyfriend on screen or even make it a date by having both of you prepare and eat dinner while you’re talking. Don’t forget multi-person calls exist too. Invite your whole friend group and catch up!
If you don’t have the time to video call, then just call
Call your friend up while you’re walking to class or driving to work. It’ll make your commute go a lot quicker, and you don’t have to take time out of your day to do it.
Plan a visit
This is easier if you live only a few hours away from someone, but it’s not impossible if they live on the opposite coast or even across an ocean. I went to visit a friend in Ireland this past year and my flight only cost me $450. Travel can be cheap if you look into it. Don’t get caught assuming you’ll never see your friend again because they moved to Oregon or somewhere in Europe and you can’t afford the trip. Not only do you get to travel and explore, but you get to catch up with your friend who will be incredibly thankful that you came out to see them. Chances are, they’re a little homesick, and your visit will mean the world to them.
Write a letter
It’s 2019 and letters might be a little obsolete, but they’re adorable. Seeing someone’s handwriting is comforting and personal. You can also send along little gifts or parts of your life. Mail them the brochure for a museum you visited or send along physical pictures of your new dog. Make it fun and print out some memes and send them through the mail instead of sending them over Instagram. If you’re feeling really ambitious, put together a care package of things you know your friend loves.
There is an infinite number of ways to stay in touch with people nowadays. Living a few hours or states away doesn’t mean your friendship needs to come to an end. The main thing to remember is that your friendship might look different, but you’re still the same people. You might not talk to each other every day, or you might go a week without talking sometimes, but that’s okay. Don’t fear that lack of contact. Embrace it, and use it to make the times that you do talk even more meaningful.
Courtney Gavitt is the Associate Digital Editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.