When picking colleges, my friends and I never based our choices on where anyone else was going. While it would be amazing to go to college with your friends, college is also a place for you to grow and try new things. Having a friend there could make it harder because it is so easy to fall into the familiar.
Instead, we all picked places that fit who we are. What places were best for our majors and who gave us good scholarships. Up and down the East Coast we went; from Florida to New Jersey. And I am happy to say that I still feel close to them. We are all living different lives now, but we find ways to make each other a part of that.
Here are some things that have made it all easier and some things that we want to try out.
Make a group chat!
For the last few years, we have had a running chat over Instagram that has consisted of 5 girls with varying levels of crazy. The name has changed and so have the memes and posts, but the underlying reason has not changed; be connected. Share the things that make us laugh, or the ones that might start controversy in the group.
We are sending messages daily. Not just about our college lives. About the nutters we see on social media, and the adorable animals we can't stop watching. We send things that we know someone might need to see that day. Anything and everything. And not everyone will respond. All of the posts we send don't merit a comment because honestly, we are all weirdos. But when we send these things, it makes us feel connected and gives a sense of comfort in this changing world.
Especially over quarantine when we couldn't see one another in person, our chat kept us in good spirits. Kept us from always being sad because things like prom and senior events were being canceled every day. This is also something we do with people we aren't as close to. It is a way to show what is happening in your life. There's your explanation for why everyone's grandparents are on Facebook now.
Become pen palsPerson Doodling on a Booklet · Free Stock Photo Person Doodling on a Booklet · Free Stock Photo
Getting letters is so exciting!
Like I said earlier, we do a lot of our talking on social media. And while I find it so amazing that we can have that instant communication, it's not always enough. We send memes, we send funny things, but what about those times you just want to show someone you are thinking about them? Letters are perfect.
When someone takes the time to hand write a whole bunch of words (who wants to write when you're not in school?) meant specifically for you, it means something. It's tangible proof that you aren't alone. You can read it as often as you want and the "this person is typing..." will not appear on the bottom of the paper.
Writing letters also helps to unpack all of the things going on with your lives. On social media it's all about the funny videos and pictures. When you write a letter it can be whatever you want. Doodle in the margins, write inside jokes on the back, personalize it. Make it special! And when your friend (or you) gets that letter in the mail, it will make your day. You can think about all the good times and the times still to come. It's also something to look forward to if you want to make it a routine.
Netflix partynetflix, computer, snacking, cushion, relaxation, relax, evening ...
We all miss having those nights with the gals--or boys--where you just sat and watched movies and hung out. Crappy, scary, funny, it doesn't matter. The cool thing was that you got to be together and make fun of the movies and eat all the snacks that broke college students love. It's a time when you're not worrying about paying bills and what grade you have in Chem. So why not keep it going?
Pick a night (or a whole day if you want) and binge a show or some movies together. Talk about how that character reminds you of your crackhead friend and how that scene is NOT realistic at all. Even though you aren't together in person, it's still great to hear their voices and know they are watching the same thing as you and probably thinking the same things about it, too. This is especially good if you promised a friend you would finish a show before you left but never got the chance.
Play online games together
Playing games like Cards Against Humanity or Uno with your group is so fun. No matter how old you get, games like that are always funny and heated. Now, we don't even have to be in the same room to do it. There are websites that allow you to play games online with large groups of people for FREE.
Honestly, it might even be better sometimes because you KNOW that your friend can't eye up your cards or 'accidentally' add or subtract some from your pile when you leave to grab more Cheetos. You can play games that you don't have to buy and you can do it from anywhere that you have connection.
Something my friends and I do while we do games is hop on a group call over Instagram so we can yell at one another and listen to everyone as they are forced to read some very interesting cards out loud. It also gives you all a chance to talk and not have to talk about how you aren't together. It's just fun and keeps you entertained for as long as you want to play.
Visit themFile:Teen girls hanging out.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
I saved this one until the end for a reason. Visiting your friends is so great. You get to hug/smack them and hang out like old times. But sometimes it's not really a plowable thing. There are transportation issues, scheduling conflicts and sometimes they are simply too darn far away. However, if it is possible, make a trip to see your friends.
Schedule a day with you and as many as you can get and do something fun together. Go hiking, mini golfing, anything that is in the budget because don't forget that you are all still broke college students.
Hanging out with your friends will also most likely give you more to laugh at them for in the future. Maybe they get lost on the way to see you or you get to watch them jump into the ocean when it's 63 degrees out. And it helps with missing them so much.
THere is so much you can do to keep in touch with your friends. Find the things that work for you and don't be afraid to say you miss them because they probably miss you too. College is a big change, no matter if you are home or away. Having people who know you and who are having experiences like yours, can definitely make it easier to get through. Just because we think we can handle it all alone, doesn't mean we should have to. Especially when we are in a time that makes connecting so easy.