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5 Ways I Stay in Touch With my Sisters, Even Though we Live in 3 Different States

One of the hardest adjustments for me since coming to college has been living life without my sisters. I have two, one older and one younger, and they were like my built-in best friends. It’s not only weird to see them so rarely, it’s also disconcerting how little I seem to know about their lives now! While I’m attending school in Kansas, one has moved to Colorado and the other still lives in Missouri with my parents. It’s hard not having casual time with them, where we just get to be in each other’s presence and hang out.

But this isn’t a problem I just accepted; my sisters and I have been making a conscious effort to stay in touch this last year or so, and we’ve found some creative ways to do it. The more we reach out to each other, the less stinted or weird each conversation begins to feel.

The Bachelor

My older sister is married with a job, so her schedule doesn’t fit mine as well as I might hope. But one thing we still always make time for? The Bachelor. Our schedules are all over the place, but each we set a time to watch the latest episode together. We can usually chat for a while before we start watching, so this is our main catch-up time. When we finally get to watching on Hulu, we make sure to comment regularly to try to regain some of the feelings of watching together. Sometimes it’s admiring a contestant’s outfit, other times it’s predicting who will go home. No matter how dramatic the episode is each week, I always leave feeling lighter having talked to my sister.

New Music

Something I use to connect with my younger sister in particular is Spotify. We each make monthly playlists of all the songs we’re currently listening to. We mainly do this so that we don’t constantly need to switch between playlists or seek out our current songs, but it also affords us another way to communicate. I can listen to her playlist, and she can listen to mine. When we talk, we automatically exchange recommendations or talk about what we think of each other’s songs. Often, there is overlap, though definitely not always! Some months I’m really honed in on sad indie music while she’s bopping to the Billboard Top 100. Either way, it gives us a sense of closeness and provides a way to find something small and casual that we may miss from being away from each other.

Puzzles

Now, this one may not apply to everyone, but my sisters and I love doing logic puzzles and math puzzles. While I am the English-strong sister, the other two excel at math. It makes for an interesting dynamic when we all do puzzles. Often, I’ll try some complex and horribly confusing math puzzle (at their recommendation or my dad’s) and I’ll get stuck on the very first step. Asking for hints or help is actually a super entertaining exchange and again, revives a small aspect of our lives together that we may miss out on ordinarily. On the other hand, I love providing weird word puzzles to try to stump them.

Three-Way FaceTime

I’ve given myself a goal: I want to pick up the phone any and every time my sisters call. Granted, this is not always reasonable or attainable. But even if it means simply saying “hey, I’m out right now, I’ll call back later,” it keeps us from constantly bouncing off of each other. We constantly encourage a “call at any time” atmosphere. Even if one person is busy, the random call keeps us from simply assuming that the other is unavailable. Sometimes, when the planets align and our schedules are all open, we do the occasional three-way FaceTime. This is a very different dynamic from a one-on-one call, but it’s fun to bounce ideas off of each other and each exchange stories of the day. This way, I also get time with both sisters at once, which can be rare.

Weekend Trips

Just a few weeks ago, my younger sister and I got plane tickets to visit my older sister in Colorado. What a fun weekend! Sure, it resulted in a very busy catch-up week for me and a few days absent for the others, but it was nice to spend even a few days together. While a trip by train or car was also possible, we wanted to maximize our time together. As much as we try to stay in touch with each other from different states, it’s difficult to replace face-to-face interactions. Even if it’s sparse, it’s better than nothing for us and worth a bit of sacrifice.

I know plenty of my friends really struggle with being away from their family and friends back home. Obviously, I miss my sister a lot, but many others struggle with absence from their friends, parents, extended family, etc. No matter the type of relationship, it is always difficult to be apart from loved ones. I hope this helps and inspires you to reach out and reconnect!

Hi there, I'm Audrey! I’m a sophomore at KU currently pursuing a major in English and minor in Communications Studies. I love to spend my time reading, listening to Taylor Swift, and rewatching rom coms!