"Being physically away does not mean you have to finish a friendship. On the contrary, it can be much stronger." — Unknown
As a rising junior, I have had two years to build friendships that I know will last me a lifetime. While some of my friends only live 30 minutes from me, I have others that live states away. Many of us find ourselves in the position of asking "OK, so what now?" after spending most nights with our friends at each other's dorms and apartments or out together in downtown when we are sitting alone at home. Here are a few ways to help with the withdrawal from your friends at university.
1. Stay in touch!
Whether it be a quick "hey! how are you?" text, a snap of what you're up to, or even FaceTime call, it is crucial to keep up the communication with one another when possible!
2. Don't assume that no contact means your friendship is in troubled waters.
Everyone gets busy! I for one know I am terrible with my phone and making sure I am replying to everyone when I am out running errands. I may mentally reply, and it somehow translates in my mind to an actual reply having being sent when really, it never was... oops! It is OK to not talk 24/7 when you are apart from one another! It doesn't mean you care any less. As long as both of you mutually understand the amount of communication that takes place, there is nothing to worry about! If you find yourself feeling insecure about the amount of communication, never be afraid of opening up a conversation with "I" statements to try to reach a mutual understanding.
3. Put in the time.
Even if your summer is a busy one, put in the amount of time that you can. When you care about something, you invest time. So, take this as an opportunity to practice that habit with the people you care about by setting aside time to reach out and have a conversation.
4. Find something in common to do while you are apart.
One of my best friends, Claire, and I are huge "Game of Thrones" fans. As season eight was coming to a close (I cannot talk about this, I am too sad), we would text each other about the show each Sunday. I also find myself FaceTiming my girls Josie and Callie for fashion advice when I am out shopping home alone as if we were back at Valley Mall shopping together! Finding something in common to do apart can provide the opportunity for good conversation and a different form of investing time and interest with one another! Whether it be you pick a show to binge together, creating summer music playlists together, reading the same book, or whatever you and your besties enjoy doing most, it makes being apart less difficult and gives you something in common with one another.
5. Plan a visit!
Just because you are out of school doesn't mean you can't see each other! Whether you find somewhere to travel together, or visit each other's hometowns, it feels so good to be reconnected! My friend Nicole and I are planning to meet up in Harrisonburg at James Madison over the summer to reconnect and spend some time together in person! That weekend trip makes all the difference. It shows commitment in a friendship, and also breaks up the time that you are apart from one another!
Bottom line is when you care about someone enough to invest time in keeping in touch to the best of your ability, and the effort is reciprocated your friendship will withstand any amount of distance.