Long Distance for Friendships

Note: In honor of Women’s Friendship Month, here’s to the good times and the bad times but also the times of growth.

Here we are: college. Give me a map and I will show you where I am versus where my childhood (and high school) friends are now located. The distance does not seem long. A few inches on paper but hundreds of miles in reality.

New part of our lives: college. Meeting new people. Finding a sense of liberty. Adapting to a new lifestyle. This list could go on and on, but in my defense, it has only been a couple weeks of college. And to make my point, things get busier as that list gets longer. You are doing one thing while your friends are doing another.

For a while I have realized how easy it was to say, “Let’s say in touch!” But to take the steps to keep in touch is much harder. It becomes harder to sync up like you did before when you were able to see each other most of the time. Distance does change things, but depending on how you handle things, this could make your friendships stronger. And here are some of the simplest reminders for you as you are keeping long distance friendships.

  1. TRY TO KEEP IN CONTACT: Check in on them. It can get weird when you have not spoken in so long, but it does not hurt to send a quick message of “Hey, how are you?” Unless you speak to them, how will you know how they are doing? Although a good tip is to avoid just sending snaps to one another. Actually, use a medium that allows you guys to speak. For example, with a couple of my best friends, we have formed a habit for months now where we all send each other good morning or good night texts. It has become our way of spreading positivity and love to each other while also reminding each other that we are still have each other’s back.
  2. JUST SPEAK: Do not hesitate to speak to your friends even if it has been a while since you last spoke. If there is something you want to tell them, just go for it. Distance does not make you strangers. It is the amount of effort that counts. (So if there is some positive quote out there, by all means, send it!)
  3. MAKING FUTURE PLANS: I am not going to discourage this, but if you do make plans, try to keep them like you would with a promise. It would be good to be (financially) realistic about how you go about this. Schools should have an academic calendar, so check it out and see if you have time to see each other during breaks.
  4. DO NOT WORRY: Maybe there will be times (like maybe when you are reading this article) where you wonder, “Huh, I have not spoken to <insert name> in a long time.” It does not mean you have lost each other. True friendship is the kind that can come back together even after long breaks. I know some friendships have seemed inseparable, but it is normal to have breaks and times when you are not speaking with your friend(s).
  5. LIVE YOUR LIFE: Continue making your new friends and making new, safe, and healthy experiences for yourself. Make new memories so that you can share it with your friends from back home. They have their own stories to share with you too.

I have times when I do miss my friends too, but we were all able to agree various times that going different paths would be good for us. Sometimes, it takes some distance from the things we were most comfortable and familiar with in order to grow a little more. We all separated for a reason: to go to a place that fits our needs. A new environment where we can pursue our own passions and individually grow; and hopefully, one day, we will meet again and catch up on everything we missed.