I can still remember how anxious and nervous I felt when deciding on a university to attend for the next four years of my life. Although I had so many options in front of me and my heart was pushing me towards a certain path, I had so many fearful thoughts circulating in my mind. How would I keep in touch with my high school friends? Would my friends replace me if I chose to attend a different university? How would I make new friends? Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one with these fears. Many of my friends were reluctant to move to different cities—hundreds of kilometres apart—after being inseparable and doing everything together for as long as we can remember. Despite our fears, we promised to keep in touch and meet up during our holiday breaks. And guess what? Three years later, we’re still best friends!
Here are some things that my friends and I do to keep in touch:
- Doing video calls instead of traditional phone calls
At least once a week, if we’re available and have the time, my friends and I try to schedule video calls. We update each other on anything interesting that happened recently, whether that entails ranting about our hectic days or sharing fun experiences that we encountered. Even during our busiest weeks, we plan study calls to be productive and hold each other accountable. I always look forward to video-calling my high school friends because it makes me feel like we’re in the same room and not kilometres apart. However, I find that the best video calls are those that are spontaneous! I enjoy facetiming my friends when I’m walking back home from lectures or eating lunch on campus for example.
- Planning meet-ups in advance
The most difficult thing about going to different universities is not being able to meet up spontaneously—that is why it’s important to plan meet-ups well in advance. During our reading weeks and holiday breaks, my friends and I try to organize fun hangouts. For example, in the week leading up to our reading week, my friend and I were craving Indian food and decided that we would go to an Indian restaurant during reading week. We were also talking about watching a Tamil movie that was recently released in theatres. So, we decided to watch the movie and get dinner afterward. However, the day that we decided to meet up, a snowstorm warning was issued and our plans were unfortunately cut short. Although we weren’t able to grab dinner, we still had a blast watching the movie. This shows the importance of planning out meet-ups well in advance, taking into consideration your availability and other factors such as the weather.
- Visit each other at university
What’s more fun than visiting your high school friends at their universities?! If you have different reading weeks, you could plan to visit them and see what their “home away from home” is like. It’ll be exciting to visit their campus, university friends, and spend some time with your high school friends. You can consider it a mini vacation! My friends and I have not yet done this, but I think it would be a fun and memorable experience.
As much as we want to stay in touch with our high school friends and preserve the friendship, things will change. It won’t always be possible to regularly keep in contact with them due to differing schedules, but that’s completely fine! Don’t feel disheartened when you realize that you’re not spending as much time with them as you did in high school. You will grow and change, but so will your friends. I believe that university is the ultimate test of high school friendships—if your friendship is true and sincere, then you will always find a way to make it last, whether that’s through video calls, planning meet-ups, or visiting each other at university.