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As times have changed so much from this time last year, it can feel like we’re living in our own worlds. From the socially distanced outings to the grocery store, classes on zoom university, and the five hour plus facetimes with friends, sometimes it can feel like genuine connections have lost their intimate touch. It’s impossible to ignore the difficulties this year has presented us, but just because we are under different circumstances doesn’t mean we have to let go of every normality life had before. With that being said, let me formally introduce the comeback to penpalling!

Penpalling, or having a friend with whom you exchange mailed letters, may seem like a thing of the past or as a “vintage” pass time, but do not be fooled it is alive and well! Websites like interpals, penpalsnow, and penpal party are dedicated to matching with a person, both domestic or internationally, in a secured way and allows you to pick your penpal from age range, location, and language. 

Related: Want to Start Penpalling? Here’s How!

Penpalling may seem like a lot of work for little pay off (or delayed pay off) but now more than ever, what is there to lose? And now more than ever, what else do you have to do with all your time inside? Perhaps it’s my individual opinion, but nothing shows more care than a letter written and catered for you. It shows that much like your own letters, someone (on the receiving end) sat down, read your letter and felt so compelled to write you back. 

Another fun and humbling aspect of penpalling is learning about someone else’s life. Although the world is so big, sometimes it can feel so small from other places and things you find familiar or mundane. In my own personal experience, I’ve only ever had penpals located internationally which were always so interesting to see how their life was both similar yet different. Things like school life, to expectations and goals from other people my age abroad was eye-opening and honestly, refreshing. It reminds me that although my life may feel so overwhelming at times I’m not alone in the emotions I’m feeling in this pandemic and in life in general. On the side, you learn so much about culture, traditions, things you would’ve probably never known about if you didn’t go searching for it.  

Related: The Power of Handwritten Letters

So while quarantine and perhaps in isolation, keep in mind that people are still out there, waiting to talk to someone like you. Although it may feel like life is in a stand still, remember that you can make the most out of this set back and go for new opportunities that maybe you hadn’t taken advantage of before. Stay safe and happy penpalling, collegiettes!

Fiorella Izquierdo

George Mason University '23

Fiorella Izquierdo is a senior at George Mason University currently studying Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Graphic Design. She is happiest when she is has a magazine in one hand and a chai latte in the other. Music, film, and fashion are some of her other passions, although she can bake like no other. In the future, Fiorella hopes to work as a creative director and travel the world doing what she loves!
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