Everyone always talks about long-distance relationships and how challenging they are but no one ever mentions how tough it can be to leave your lifelong best friends for school. Much like long-distance relationships, long-distance friendships take a ton of work. While it may seem like staying close to your bestie is impossible, with the right level of intent, your relationship will grow in more ways than you thought possible. Here are 10 ways you can keep your friendship strong, even hundreds of miles apart.

1. Be intentional about FaceTime.  

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School gets extremely busy. Make the time to FaceTime or HouseParty on a regular schedule. Being able to see your friend (or friends) face-to-face will make everything easier.

2. Make it a point to check in over text, even if it's just one message every few days. 

One "Hey, I love you" text message can make the difference in your friend's day. It takes three seconds to send a sweet text to a far away friend.

3. Keep notes of important life events that need to be shared so that you're prepared when you DO have time to talk. 

When you're only talking once a week it can be really easy to forget the highlights (or lowlights for that matter) since the last time you talked. There is nothing worse than sitting on the phone with nothing to say. Take short notes about your week so you can properly fill in your friend.

4. Send a care package. 

Even if it's something small, sending a meaningful gift is a great way to show a friend that you're thinking about them. Send a stressed out friend some tea or essential oils. Send your friend some snacks during exam week, these small gifts can go a long way.

5. Write an actual real life paper note. 

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When did people stop writing notes? Who doesn't LOVE getting mail? These are all super relevant questions. Sit down and write a friend a letter, it'll mean more to them than you realize.

6. Do something weekly to make them laugh or smile. 

This could literally be as small as sending jokes every once in a while. Making the effort to get a smile out of a best friend is the literal core of good friendship. You know your best friend more than anyone else. You know what they'll love.

7. Start an active group message. 

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If you are hoping to stay in touch with more than just one person, make an active group message. While some group messages can be annoying, they can also be a super fun way to quickly share something great with more than one person.

8. Look for small meaningful gifts. 

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Stockpile some small presents for when you see your friend again. There are few things sweeter than getting small mementoes from the time you missed with your friend. Even something as small as a postcard from a weekend away will speak volumes.

9. Introduce them to new friends and keep them updated by name. 

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The hardest part about keeping track of old friends is the fact that you're actively making new ones. Introducing your old friends to your new friends by name will make your old friends feel included in your life. Also, it will allow for way better phone conversations.

10. Coordinate with a roommate and plan a surprise visit. 

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Making the trip to see a friend is the best surprise ever. Become friends with a roommate or school friend and plan a time for the ultimate surprise.

Good friendships take work. Long-distance friendships may take even more work but the payoff is that much greater. Take the time and do something special for your friends near and far. You need them and they need you. A little distance never hurt anybody. There is no such thing has "goodbye," just a whole lot of "see you later." Be intentional with your long-distance friends and before you know it, you'll be reunited.