I went to college at Elon University, a small school in central North Carolina (and also the best place on earth, but I’m a little biased). One of the best things about Elon is that people attend from all over the United States, so you make friends from all different backgrounds. One of the worst things about Elon is this also means that after graduation my friends scattered back around the United States. Transitioning from having my friends minutes away on campus to hundreds of miles away was HARD. I have drifted away from some friends and remained close with other. The key is absolutely to work at staying in touch. But it doesn’t have to be hard work!
Here’s how to stay in touch:
- Interact on social media: Don’t just like Instagram posts, slide into those DMs! It sounds ridiculous, but replying to your friend’s Instagram posts or stories just adds a next level of communication that a “like” does not. It’s a great way to keep connected about what’s going on in their life – by asking more detail about what they posted, or just responding to it.
- Endure phone calls: As a true millennial, I hate phone calls. But not with the people I love most in my life. Phone calls allow you a level of intimacy that you just don’t get over text message. The hours I have spent on the phone with my sweet best friend from college have deepened our friendship and made me feel close to her even though we’re far apart.
- Schedule your phone calls: You can’t have enjoy phone call if you can’t get each other on the line. My twin brother and I never used to communicate – until we settled on a schedule where he calls me every single Wednesday at 5pm (we call it Twindsday. I know, we are so cute). If you make calling a part of your routine, it doesn’t seem like a gargantuan task you have to somehow find time for. Without scheduling a time, you’ll just end up playing phone tag until you are both old, in rocking chairs, and unable to hear through the phone anyway.
- Use your commute time wisely: When I lived far away from my parents after college, I called them every single day on my way home. And now that I live half an hour away, I call them…every single day on my way home. It’s an easy 15 mins/ half hour/ hopefully not longer you have free which you’re also trying to make fly by as fast as possible. Win-win for everyone! Honestly, it’s 2019, there’s no excuse to not call home!
- Visit: Set aside a weekend: once a year, twice a year, whatever works for you to visit each other. Keep that weekend in the books so you always have it set aside and so you always know when you’ll see each other next!
- Text at least once a week: Even if you don’t have anything specific to talk about, reach out just for the sake of keeping in touch. You can ask how their job is, how their relationship is going, how many tinder matches they have, or what they thought of the new episode of the Kardashians. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you start a conversation and keep it going.
Have you found any other good ways for how to stay in touch with faraway friends and family? I’d love to hear!