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How to Keep in Touch With College Friends After Graduation

After college, everybody disperses to all corners of the world for job opportunities, significant others, volunteer work and more. You might stay in your college town, but what if your closest friends move home, head to new cities or even go abroad?

Staying close with your college BFFs when you’re not living together and sharing the same experiences on campus can seem difficult, and suddenly the traditional methods of staying in touch—like phone calls and texting—just aren’t enough to maintain as tight of a bond as you once had.  But that’s no reason for you to lose the closeness you had with your besties! With a little extra effort and a touch of creativity, it’ll be just as if you were still spending late nights up in your dorm room together. We’re bringing you six fun ways to keep in touch with your friends after graduation!

1. Have phone dates

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned phone call. Think about it—how many times have you phoned a friend in the past two weeks? Yep, that’s what we thought. If you have friends overseas, you can download apps such as Viber or Rebtel, which offer free calls over Wi-Fi to others who have the same app.

Of course, texting is also a perfectly valid way to keep in touch! A traditional group text can be great, but if you and your friends text throughout the day, the hundreds of notifications that come through all day can get annoying. Instead, have your friends download a messaging app such as GroupMe—you can choose to leave notifications on or turn them off, so you can check in whenever you’re free rather than have your phone buzzing every five minutes. The app also has its own set of fun emoticons, and you can even use it to create silly memes of your photos—and any photos that are shared are stored into an album in the app that you can look back on later. It gives you a much more interactive way of communicating with friends than normal texts do!

2. Use social media

You’re already on social media every day stalking your college ex checking in on what your friends are up to, so why not take advantage of what these sites have to offer? If you already love Snapchat, try using Instagram’s direct messaging tool to send select friends private Instagram shots that they can like or comment on. Or, use Facebook to create groups with your friends: Features like group chats, shared photo albums and event invites make it easy to notify all your friends at once.

3. Send snail mail

Snail mail has become a thing of the past in this technology-driven age. With the immediacy of text messages and emails, handwriting a letter that will take days to get to its destination seems too outdated. However, while sending something in the mail may not be the best way to get urgent information to your friends (like a promotion at work or a new boyfriend), there are a lot of fun things you can do with a piece of paper and a pen! Get a diary or scrapbook that can be passed between you and your friends and send it along every now and then for each of you to fill with photos or even rants about how much you miss each other.

If you’re not the type to be constantly mailing items back and forth, use special occasions as a reason to send your friends a little something. During the holidays, for example, arrange a Secret Santa, where you each have a different friend to mail a gift to.

4. Write a joint blog

Want to write, but just don’t have the patience for letters? A great way to stay in contact with friends all over the world is to create a joint blog. It can serve as a private online diary of sorts between your besties, or, if you have a shared interest, you can put your talents together to create a public blog, like a fashion, cooking or travel blog. You can get started for free with tons of hosting services, such as Blogger (which connects to your Gmail account) or WordPress. Keeping a blog between friends is not only a great way to maintain your closeness, but it’s also an easy way to document memories that you can easily look back through later on!

5. Schedule meet-ups

If you’re feeling nostalgic for your college days, plan a trip to your alma mater! It can be during special events, like homecoming or around graduation (when schools will have tons of alumni events, networking opportunities and activities), or you can just go whenever it works with your schedules.

“Post-graduation, a few of my friends got an apartment in a big city close to where we went to college, and we planned a weekend where we would all travel to that city and stay,” says Katie Sieger, a recent graduate of St. Olaf College. “We all brought food and sleeping bags and had a great time hanging out and reminiscing!”

Your meet-ups can also be used as a chance to travel and explore new places together. Rachel Kossman, a 2011 graduate from Northeastern University, organizes a yearly reunion in a new city with her friends who are spread out across the country.

“This year, we’re all headed to Louisville, Kentucky!” she says. “It’s a unique city that none of us have ever been to. We’re renting an Airbnb, a car, and will spend five days drinking bourbon and catching up. I can’t wait!”

Even if you do live in the same city as your friends, getting together is often easier said than done when your work schedules conflict. Set aside time to make your friends a priority and schedule days to meet, whether it’s for a weekly dinner or a yoga class that you all go to together. And don’t be afraid to get adventurous, too! Just because you live nearby doesn’t mean you can’t travel somewhere together. Travel services like Contiki and STA Travel are specifically aimed at young people; you can sign up for trips abroad where your entire itinerary is planned out, and the prices are budget-friendly, with collegiettes and recent grads in mind!

6. Share an activity

We’ve all read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and though that magical pair of jeans doesn’t actually exist in real life, you can still borrow the concept of sharing something among one another—and no, it doesn’t have to be an item that you mail back and forth to create memories with. Instead, share an activity with your friends! If there’s a book you’ve all been dying to read, start an informal book club where you can discuss your favorite parts via a chat app or Skype. Or, if The Bachelor is your shared guilty pleasure or you’re all obsessed with The Mindy Project, FaceTime, Skype or set up a Google Hangout while you watch the show together so you can settle down with a glass of wine and your BFFs.

They say that the friends you meet at college are the friends you make for life, so keeping those close relationships is incredibly important. With so many ways to stay in touch, all it takes is a little extra time and effort to keep those bonds of friendship going strong—and every time you see each other, you’ll pick up right where you left off, no matter how many miles are between you and your besties right now.

Sheetal studied History at the University of Nottingham and was Campus Correspondent during her final year, before graduating in July 2014. She is currently jumping between jobs, whilst still writing for HC in her spare time. She may or may not be some of these things: foodie, book addict, world traveller (crazy dreamer!), lover of cheese, Australian immigrant, self-proclaimed photographer, wannabe dancer, tree hugger, lipstick ruiner, curly-haired and curious. She hopes for world peace and dreams that someday, cake will not make you fat.