After a year with two pen pals, I wanted to share 10 reasons why they're one of the best things to happen to me.
You get letters in the mail that are from a real human.Giphy
This is a welcome relief from the flood of mail from colleges that won't take you off a mailing list.
Getting letters instead of text messages is probably the best lesson in patience ever.Giphy
Because honestly, the mail can be really slow sometimes.
You get to hear all about life in new places.Giphy
In my case, this was Spokane, WA and Canton, MI. Also, one of my pen pals has parents who immigrated from Romania to the U.S., so I got to learn all about Romanian culture.
Sometimes your pen pals will have really great taste.Giphy
My first pen pal told me about Moriah Peters and Tauren Wells, awesome musicians who were bigger on the West Coast than the East Coast.
You can use the fact that you have pen pals in two truths and a lie.Giphy
You will literally be able to trick almost anyone.
You can always look forward to actually meeting your pen pal in real life.Giphy
That is, until you realize that plane tickets to Spokane are way out of budget.
It allows you to reminisce over your life events.Giphy
You have to keep your pen pal up to date on all the cool stuff you're doing miles away from them. Sometimes, that happens months after these important events.
It gives you a network.
You'll know people with a super different background than you, which can be useful when collecting data or getting opinions on a national issue. Or just to brag to your friends down the street.
You get to learn about different religious practices.
Even though I found both my pen pals through a Christian magazine for teens, we all have different traditions and ideas, and that leads to some super cool discussions.
My pen pals are super sweet, and, even though we've never actually met, I know they're always cheering me on to be my best self.
Huge thank you to my two pen pals who inspired me to write this list.