7 Ways To Make Long Distance Friendships Work

7 Ways To Make Long Distance Friendships Work

Some helpful tips to stay in touch with the friends that don't live so close to you.
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Distance is one of the most common reasons that friendships fade out. Sometimes, the transition from high school to college can make it easy to lose touch with some of the friends you love the most. Nonetheless, it is not impossible to stay in contact! Here are seven ways to keep those long distance friendships alive!

1. Don’t stress about talking to them every single day.

We all have lives that become quite busy from time to time. Some days you may not remember to send your friend a simple text. This is completely normal as we all have these days. Nevertheless, your friends will still love you the same!

2. Make sure they know that you are always there for them.

Although it is not necessary to talk every day, it is important to reassure them that they can still reach out to you if they need to. The reason that most long distance friendships fail is because they end up as surface level friendships rather than the tight knit bond that they once were.

3. Look at pictures.

It’s always nice to be able to look at pictures people when you miss them. This way you can relive some of your old memories with them while you wait to reunite and create new ones.

4. Keep a running countdown of the next time you will see each other.

The easiest way to deal with a long distance friendship is counting down to when you will see them next. This way, there’s always something to look forward to and there is no guessing as to whether or not you will see them again.

5. Keep them informed about major events in your life.

The worst thing in a long distance friendship is to finally reunite and not know large pieces of information about their life. Whether you get a new bf/gf, lose a loved one, or even change your major, keep them informed. This will also give you an excuse to connect with them again.

6. Keep up with them on social media.

In today’s time this is the easiest way to keep connected to a person’s life without having to talk every single day. Most people check their social media everyday and this will give you a little update as to what they’re doing with their life.

7. If you miss them, contact them.

Don’t wait around for your friend to contact you. Chances are, they’re missing you as much as you miss them and they will appreciate that you reached out to them.

Long distance friendships are definitely difficult, but nowhere near impossible. These simple steps can help make the situation just a little bit easier for you and your friends!

Cover Image Credit: Lynn Bunke

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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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It's the Little things that make a home

Home really is where the heart is, isn't it?

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When I was a little girl, about five or six, I was under the impression that when people moved, they would just put their house on a giant forklift or something and move it to another location. I was like, yeah, that makes sense - why would anyone want to abandon their house?

I found out that was, in fact, not the case, and I became terrified of moving. I made my mom promise me we would never move away. She did (and then she worked her ass off to keep the house after my parents' divorce).

I was additionally terrified of fires. Not because they were big and hot and scary, but because they could burn down my house. I think one of the scariest days of my kid-life was when my babysitter burned some cookies in the oven and set the fire alarm off - needless to say, she wasn't invited back to babysit.

I have always loved my house, for the simplest reason: it was home. It was where I grew up, where I felt safe, where my family was, where my friends would come over and hang out, where my dogs were, etc etc etc. It was my happy place.

The summer before I went to college, I was absolutely petrified to leave home. I didn't realize it then, but I think the main reason was that I was essentially moving. I was excited for this new chapter of my life, but I was scared that I would be terribly homesick.

I wasn't.

Granted, I did miss home and my friends and my family. But really, I didn't miss much else. The life that I had before college was amazing and impactful, but I was ready to leave it behind. I was ready to not be treated like a kid anymore, to handle my own life (to some extent), and to make new friends and experiences.

I learned a copious amount of things from school, both in the classroom and outside of it; however, this was not so much a lesson and more of a principle that I learned. It was a concept that changed for me as I got more and more settled into my new life at school, away from what I knew for years as "home." That place has changed a lot: not my childhood home itself, but the way I perceive the concept of home.

I think this year, more than any year before, I have really identified with the cliché, "home is where the heart is." While I struggled more and more to put a solid definition on it, I finally realized that the reason why I was having trouble was that I started to associate "home" with people, rather than a physical place.

And as I was thinking about this, the littlest things about all the people I hold close to my heart started to cycle through my head. The little mannerisms, the favorite aspects, and the core characteristics of these people are what have made me come to love them more than I can even conceptualize.

So, here's a big, long, ridiculous list of just a few of those things. To those who I mention, thank you for being so wonderfully yourselves, and simultaneously, my home.

  • Katie's incense that she loves to burn, her electro music she loves to listen to on full blast, and how we run like chickens with our heads cut off every time we cross a street
  • Navigating and DJ-ing while Jack drives us to different adventures, always stopping to appreciate good sunsets and stars, hugs from behind and singing in the car
  • How all my guy friends lift me up when they hug me
  • How when we heard one of our friends might break up with her boyfriend, we brought wine and cheese and camped out in her dorm room from 9 pm to midnight when she got home, and then talked until 3 am
  • How Paige always calls everyone honey or sweetie and typically I hate when people do that but she does it with such love and cuteness it makes me feel so good
  • Yoga Wednesdays with Teddy and Bri and whoever tags along
  • Catching up with Helen at Monday night dinners
  • Bri's dinosaur noises she makes for any and every mood (but often out of distress from school)
  • How Ally eats the weirdest things ever, her combination of really cool earrings
  • Gigi's cute cat stickers on her computer, her colored hair, and how she names all of the bruises she gets from cheer
  • Tavis's love of suits and looking slick and having the deepest of dining hall talks
  • Sophie's nervous laughter and how she says "but wait, guys," every five minutes
  • How Sammy is a literal Disney princess
  • Jack and Rem's "marriage" and mutual love of Eric Clapton
  • How Eric always wears variously colored plaid, collared, short-sleeve shirts
  • Listening to chill music while chilling in someone's dorm room, swearing that we're getting work done but we're really not doing anything
  • Clarke's music that he plays in the shower and how he definitely sings and I think its the cutest thing even though he always tells me to shut up when I sing in the shower
  • Sending/receiving memes to/from Clarke (mainly Friends memes)
  • My mom's slippers that I always steal when my feet are cold downstairs
  • My mom's yoga beads that she hangs in her bathroom
  • How Steve always brings over Trader Joe's snacks or goodies or new beer for us to try
  • CLAPPING FOUR TIMES DURING THE FRIENDS THEME SONG EVERY SINGLE TIME OR YOU'RE OUT OF THE FAMILY
  • Gilmore Girls, wine, and Thai food
  • How Steve always has trader joes food and little goodies for us and new beer to try
  • Dog fur everywhere even though our dogs are now angel babies
  • Sitting in the hot tub late at night talking about random things with my dad
  • How my dad's girlfriend gets teary with pride at my accomplishments and it's literally the cutest thing
  • Always having avocados in the house
  • How my dad whistles obnoxiously at every event that I have and it used to be the most embarrassing thing but now I say, hell yeah that's my dad, where's yours?
  • My car!!
  • The little crevice in-between the two twin mattresses that make up my bed
  • Making coffee in the morning — now my mom will load it up the night before and I'll start it half asleep in the morning so I can have coffee while I'm getting ready
  • Sitting and doing my makeup on my bathroom counter to get that optimal angle for them wings
  • How at one point or another, all of my friends have fallen asleep (or will fall asleep) on my living room couch
  • How Paige's house smells (very distinctive)
  • The floor of Jordan's tv room is most definitely more comfortable than the average carpeted floor
  • Meredith's kitchen counter and her mom's amazing cooking
  • Meredith's cough laugh
  • Jordan's spookiness
  • How Brooke scream talks when she's either really excited or really annoyed
  • How Brooke sits- it's not one specific weird way, but every time she sits it's in a different weird way
  • The rock that we always go to and get pizza and chips and salsa and watch sunsets
  • Alex's freckles
  • Car conversations are by far the best; sitting in someone's parked car late at night with low music, being in the drivers' seat because I love driving (and many of my friends are maniac drivers) and turning to talk to the person in the passenger's or the back seat
  • Elyse's laugh and her dragon nostrils (if you know you know)
  • How every so often I send a video to Abby of me tilting my face up so you can barely see my eyes and zoom in on my face and she dies laughing
  • Lexi tickling everyone all the time and calling people nuggets
  • Breaking out into song frequently because we're all choir nerds
Never can think of enough, but to those of you who I'm lucky enough to have in my life, remember how much I love the little things. :)
Cover Image Credit:

Rebecca Clemmons

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