How To Maintain Friendships in College

Heading to college brings many changes to a person’s life. There’s new classes, new friends, and new activities. Almost everything you experience is new. This major transition, while exciting, can be overwhelming, and frankly - exhausting. Which can make it harder to keep in contact with your old life, more specifically friendships from back home.

Personally, I’m over 3 hours away from my hometown, and cannot visit often without negatively affecting my college life. But, I manage to keep my hometown friendships close with a few tips I’ve picked up, hopefully that you can use too.

To start, decide which friendships are worth maintaining and prioritize them. This doesn’t mean only talking with your absolute best friend and ghosting everyone else. But you don’t have to keep in touch with every person you waved hello to in highschool. Some friendships in life have different needs, different levels of attention, and not all of them have to last forever. Think deeply about which friendships matter most to you, and prioritize making the most time for them.

Secondly, SCHEDULE TIME. Friendships, and anything of importance, can only be maintained if you make time for them. Just like with homework, or club meetings, sometimes  even text messages or facetime calls to friends have to be prepared too. Even if you don't formally write down a schedule or rigidly follow it 24/7, setting reminders and due dates to contact or reach out to a friend is another way to schedule your time for friendships.

When it comes to the tip of scheduling time, certain questions arise. How exactly do you keep in  contact, or reach out to someone when it feels like you have time for a 5 minute facetime call?         

There are little actions that take less than a minute to do to show your friend you care. Things like sending a silly meme you both enjoy, an article on a topic that made you think of them, or keeping a snapchat streak, are easy fast ways to show someone you care about them and your connection.

Lastly, understand while friendships are fun, they still take work, no matter how long you’ve had them, or how deep the connection in them runs. You can know how much love someone internally, but it's impossible for them to know unless you show it to them through action. Even if it’s through texting a silly emoji.

Overall, cherish your friends, because no matter how far away you are from each other physically, you can still be close emotionally. What matters is simply making the people that matter a priority.