When my high school friends and I departed for different colleges, different time zones, and different parts of the world, it seemed impossible to me that the connections I made with any new people would ever measure up to the bond I shared with these lifelong friends. When we left our small town, we promised to talk at least once a day, whether a “miss you” text or the direct message of an unforgettable “1 year ago today” Snapchat memory. However, once my classes began and new friendships started to form, it became increasingly difficult to keep up with all the exciting developments in the lives of my long-distance best friends. Since everyone’s high school friend group will always hold a special place in their heart, here are some tips to keep in touch with old friends while navigating a hectic Brown schedule.
1. Call a friend on your way to or from classes and activities.
Whenever I’m walking alone around campus, I always dial one of my friends or family members from home. This has easily become a part of my daily routine and allows me to have a one-on-one conversation filled with stories of hilarious moments or new adventures. Sometimes, the person I’m calling can’t talk for long, or sometimes even at all, which gives you the opportunity to leave them a funny voicemail to listen to later on :). Using these 10 or 15 minute periods to do something productive allows you to communicate with the people you love, without cutting into study or exercise time.
2. Take advantage of the iPhone’s group FaceTime feature!
I’m still struggling to understand how to properly use this Apple software on my phone. However, this friendlier, millenial-ized version of a conference call is a convenient way to talk to multiple friends at the same time. It makes it feel like you’re back at home, sitting in a friend’s basement, laughing and chatting about life once again. While this type of call can lead to tons of talking over one another, that type of discussion is not far from the kinds of conversations you may have with these friends in person. No matter what, a weekly group FaceTime has been the perfect way to end a stressful day and catch up with some of my favorite people.
3. Make plans and look forward to them!
Before the long weekend for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, my home friends started a countdown to our reunion. This gave me something to look forward to each day. Whether a friend is visiting you at Brown, or you have planned to meet up with them in Providence or Boston, these small events can make a big difference to both you and your friends.
4. A text goes a LONG way
On days where I am constantly running to classes and participating in activities until late at night, I always try to send a quick text or two to a couple of my friends to let them know that I’m thinking of them. I know that whenever I’m having a bad day, I rely on my friends from home to cheer me up with a good story or a “Remember when?” moment. Even if you don’t have time to talk every day, letting them know you miss spending time with them is essential to keeping the relationship strong. And while it may take more work now because of physical distance, it’s necessary to show such important people in your life that you truly care about them.