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6 steps to maintaining long-term friendships

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

More than often, geographically-challenged romantic relationships can be difficult under the stress of university separation, but what about your best friend? Is it possible to stay close friends despite the distance? Given a world of new people and opportunities at university, you may find yourself neglecting old friendships in favour of your new-fangled social life in the university bubble. But maintaining those awesome, been-through-everything-together, friends is super important. Follow these steps to help keep your friendships intact during term-time:


1) Make time for group Skype dates!

Relaxing and enjoying each other’s company has never been easier. Skype is simply the best thing since… Nutella. Whether you talk every day, or just for a short while every month, face-to-face group chats give the sense of being close to your friends and really does help to relieve that feeling of missing someone. You may even find that you end up speaking to your friends more now than you have ever done before, simply because Skype is just so convenient. That moment when you exchange a look and end up laughing, often over a shared memory, or listen to a rant over the guy that keeps using your dishes… It can also come in super handy to catch up with your daily goings-on if you’re really that desperate to find out about every inch of their being!

2) Have plans to look forward to

Just like being in a relationship, you’ve got to have a long-term vision of the future and plans that pose a commitment to one another! Discussing plans for the summer, anticipating your next outing and making time for girls nights will give you and your friends something to look forward to in the long term.

3) Expect big change

Studying abroad or at opposite ends of the country, we emerge as different people. Acknowledging and embracing these lifestyle changes gives you a better chance of keeping those friendships strong. Be encouraging of their dreams and aspirations – the green eyed monster can be damaging.

4) Hand written letters

This may sound cliché and cheesy, but do it! Try not to rely too heavily on social media and messaging. You may catch up on the latest goings-on via Facebook or WhatsApp but you can miss complex important detail out in mindless chatter. Sitting down and writing a letter can allow you to open up and give a bigger insight into important life events that you may have missed out in casual conversation. Also, it’s a great gesture and a nice change from one-dimensional digital communication.

5) Get visiting

Of course, if your friend has travelled to the other side of the world, this may not be entirely practical. Plan weekend visits – introduce them to your uni life. Making the upmost of the long distance by taking advantage of free accommodation in different parts of the country can be a great experience for your friendship group, especially if your friends are at unis dotted around the country.

6) But don’t force it

Perhaps a friend decides that she wants to leave you and her old life back completely. This can be painful. But as hard as it is, try not to take this personally and see it as their loss and not yours.”Friendships flourish when people are in the same place doing the same thing. When those circumstances change, friendships often change too, and not all of them – even the very good ones – last forever.” Although you might lose friends during your uni years, there’s nothing to say you won’t reignite that closeness later on. And whatever happens to your old friendships, you’ll come away with a whole lot of new ones too.

But don’t forget, “old friends are the keepers of our memories” – Dr Irene Levine.





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First year International Media and Communications student at the University of Nottingham and Features writer for Her Campus! 
Harriet Dunlea is Campus Correspondent and Co-Editor in Chief of Her Campus Nottingham. She is a final year English student at the University of Nottingham. Her passion for student journalism derives from her too-nosey-for-her-own-good nature.