There’s no doubt this year’s senior class will be celebrating graduation in a different way due to COVID-19. While in many ways this pandemic has led to disappointment — an abrupt end to senior year, a virtual graduation and no concrete goodbyes — there can be some positives taken from this surreal moment in time. Namely, thanks to COVID-19, everybody is discovering new ways to keep in touch with friends and family. After two months in quarantine, the Class of 2020 is probably the most prepared group of graduates in history to adjust to long-distance friendships after graduation.
The No. 1 way to keep in touch with friends post-college is through FaceTime or some other sort of video chat. While this seems simple and easy enough, I know some people (much like myself) are terrible FaceTimers. In normal circumstances, I barely FaceTime anybody. I would only use the app to talk to my best friend from high school once every month or two while we’re both away at different colleges. However, during coronavirus, I’ve found having a flexible schedule is helpful and makes me commit to virtually staying in touch with my friends.
This idea can certainly be carried over for post-grads looking to stay in touch with friends from college. Say you and one of your friends commit to FaceTiming together every other Monday, or every Thursday while you prepare dinner or any other combination of dates and times. Not only will you have something to look forward to, but keeping in steady and regular contact with your friend will also make you feel closer than ever. For your big group of friends, think about planning one big Zoom or Houseparty call a month. And always remember: A little bit of time spent on FaceTime can go a long way in terms of mood and feelings of closeness.
Even if you’re not living miles away from your college friends, it can be difficult to catch up: Between having different jobs and being in different stages of life, there’s no way you’ll be able to spend as much time with your friends as you did in college. However, if possible, it’s so important to get a physical date to meet in person, whether this be just a quick coffee date or a casual dinner.
Even if you only meet up with your friends in this capacity once every few months, it will make a world of difference. I have some friends that live in New York City that I only see a few times a year, usually once over winter break and a few times during the summer. However, hanging out in person is what really cements our strong friendship. If they’re true friends, you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off, regardless of how much time has passed since you last saw them.
My last piece of advice may seem obvious, but it can be crucial for maintaining your friendships: Texting. This has always been my preferred way of keeping up with my long-distance friends because it’s easy, fast and can be done anywhere. Sending a quick text to let someone know you’re thinking about them can make someone’s day and it’s the easiest way to get a lot of information in the shortest amount of time. When one of my best friends went abroad last semester, we texted just a little bit nearly every day, which made it feel like I knew about her life and was close to her even though we were nearly 4,000 miles apart.
So while the newly graduated Class of 2020 may have valid fears about finding a job, moving out or starting their next chapter in life, staying in touch with friends doesn’t have to be one of them. In fact, continuing to talk to friends may ease such fears. So there’s no need to break up with friends for fear that long distance will tear you apart. With these tips, you can continue to stay as close as ever.
Lucie Turkel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.