5 Unique Ways to Stay in Touch with Your Friends from High School

Moving off to college is such an exciting experience. You’re on your own in a new place, making new friends and basically living a whole new life. But what happens to those lifelong friendships you formed back home? Holding onto those relationships can be a bit tough once your time gets filled up with your new college schedule, but putting in the effort to stay close will be worth it. Not sure how to maintain the friendships? Here’s five creative ways to ensure you stay in touch while you're apart.

1. Make a group chat

If you and your squad want to stay up-to-date with all the happenings in each others' lives, making a group chat will be a great solution! By having everyone from your friend group included in the chat, you’ll guarantee no one will be left out of the loop on anything. Plus, you won’t have to send six different texts when something exciting happens, like getting paired with the cutest person in class as lab partners.

“I love having group texts or group Snapchat conversations with my closest friends because it lets us all contribute to the conversation,” says Carmen, a recent San Diego State University grad. “Instead of having to explain the situation over and over again, my friends and I can just send it once. I love that it doesn’t leave anyone out either so we all stay equally as close.” Not sure you want to be receiving a ton of notifications from the group chat all day? Try muting the conversation so you can open the thread whenever you want instead of getting notified a hundred times—that way you won’t be distracted from all of your new college experiences.

2. Start watching the same show

If anything keeps friends close, it’s gossiping about a show and its juicy storyline. Whether you're keeping up with The Bachelorette on cable or are working your way through a hit series on Netflix together, picking a show you and your friends both love will give you a reason to text each other. “All through high school, my friends and I would watch the Bachelor or Bachelorette shows together, and we didn’t want that tradition to end,” says Lily, a junior at Grand Canyon University. “Sometimes it can be hard to find things to talk about, so watching the show together gives us an extra reason to keep talking and gossiping with each other. We love it!”

The best part is you’ll now have an actual excuse to be glued to your TV at least once a week—as if you had a problem with it before.

3. Plan virtual hangouts

Long distance friendships can be hard, especially because you don’t get that typical face-to-face interaction anymore. So, it’s time to do the next best thing: video chat! Choose a fun activity you used to do back home together, then start video chatting through it. “My friends and I always used to do face masks at sleepovers in high school, so every so often we’ll Facetime and throw a mask on,” says Lizzie, a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “It’s such an easy way to catch up with each other, plus we have an excuse to pamper ourselves with a little beauty mask.”

The long-distance activity can be something as easy as doing a spa night in the privacy of your room, or getting some froyo and eating it while video chatting. You’ll be surprised how doing these simple virtual hangouts will help you still feel connected to your friends from home!

4. Plan weekend trips home together

Once the semester starts, your schedule will inevitably fill up. That makes it difficult to find free time to make the trip home to visit your family, much less your friends. Instead of randomly picking a weekend to trade your college lifestyle for a quick trip home, try coordinating with your closest friends to visit your hometown at the same time. 

“My high school best friend and I are hardly ever home at the same time because our college breaks are so different, so a lot of the time we try to coordinate a weekend where we both can make the trip home,” says Hannah, a senior at Cal Poly. “It doesn’t always work out, but it’s always so nice to be able to be back in our town together for a few days.”

If your college is on the same route that one your friends will be taking home, try coordinating a carpool situation so you can have a few extra hours of catching up while making the road trip home together!

5. Send each other mail

Honestly, who doesn’t love receiving a little mail? Start a habit of picking up cute cards or small trinkets and mailing them to your high school friends every so often. Showing that you thought of them while out and about will be enough to keep your friendship as strong as it was in high school. “My friend and I will pick up cards or put together a gift box whenever something big happens in our lives,” says Kaila, a recent San Diego State University grad. “It’s so fun to go shopping for little things I know she’ll like, and, of course, receiving them is even more fun.”

If you know your friend has a hard exam coming up or a nerve-wracking interview next week, run to the store, grab a few boxes of candy and send it off to her apartment with a sweet card. It’ll definitely show you still care about her.

Whether you’re going to school a few hours from home or on the opposite side of the country, maintaining your friendships with your high school friends is so important! You spent years growing together, so putting in a little extra effort while you’re off at college should be super easy.