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Conquering the Distance: How to Maintain Friendships in College

Right as you’re about to leave for college, you’re suddenly hit with a wave of nostalgia as you realize you’re about to leave the people you’ve spent most of your life with, or at least the last four years.  Getting homesick in college is normal, but for the first time in your life you’ll experience “friendsickness,” a longing for the friends that feel familiar.  It’s scary leaving everything and everyone you’ve ever known to attend college, and, suddenly, you’ll actually have to work at maintaining those friendships because you’re not all in the same place anymore.  To combat whatever distance may be between you and your besties, here are some ways to keep in touch:

Texting

 

With the advanced technology we have in 2018, old fashioned texting may seem out of place, but nonetheless a simple “how are you?” message can spark a long overdue conversation.  It doesn’t take much to reach out to someone, but sometimes you have to take that first step, and 9/10 times you’re guaranteed to get a response back.

Snapchat

It’s actually crazy the amount of lengthy conversations I’ve had over Snapchat.  The beauty of this app is that it is ridiculously easy to use, and unlike texting you can read people because you’re seeing their face instead of a white screen.  You can create snap groups with different friends and send updates about your day in less than 10 seconds.  I know when I’m getting a snap group notification from my high school friends, it is usually going to be the highlight of my day.

Facetime

Personally, my favorite form of communication is Facetiming with my friends while we’re away at school.  The hardest part is finding enough time during the day to talk for a substantial amount of time and finding a good Wi-Fi connection (seriously). For me, a combination of texting and Facetime has allowed me to keep friendships with some of my older friends while I was still in high school and they were starting college.  It was a lot of hard work and a little scary at times, because I wasn’t sure if they had the time or wanted to keep in touch.  In the end it paid off, and now someone I became friends with when I was a freshman and they were a junior, is still one of my best friends because of that effort we put in.

Facebook Tagging/Instagram DMs

Although it may sound like a strange form of communication, just sending someone a funny picture, or tagging them in a meme that reminds you of them is a gesture that goes a long way.  This shows your friends that you’re thinking about them and it might give some of your friends the motivation to check up on you and see how you have been doing.  

Phone Calls

Though this may seem ancient, I know that I’ve had some of the best conversations with my friends over the phone.  If you’re a camp girl like me and your cell service is nonexistent in the woods, then camp landlines are our savior.  During the summers I rely heavily on phone calls and it has allowed me to create special connections with certain friends.  Also, some friends are just incredibly hard to text, so if you find yourself in that situation I would suggest a good old-fashioned phone call, because there’s nothing like hearing a familiar voice after a long time apart. 

What you put into your friendships is what you will get out of them.  It’s not always easy to keep in touch with some people and sometimes that’s for the best, because some friendships should stay in high school. As I’ve gotten older, I know who my true friends are and those are the friendships I will continue to put the most effort into.  

To my friends: whether we talk often or not, thank you for being in my life.  Whether we’ve known each other since we were 5, we met in high school, or we just met a few months ago, I appreciate all of you and I hope you know that I will always be there when you need me.  

Sarah Coffel

Muhlenberg '21

Currently a junior at Muhlenberg College studying Media & Communications and French.  I'm a Jersey girl born and raised that loves sushi, makeup and has a very random assortment of songs in my Spotify library 
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