Some Friendly Advice- 5 Ways to "See" Your Long Distance Friends

 

We’ve all been there. Either the school year ends, senior year runs out, camp is over, or a trip abroad is wrapping up and we suddenly come to the realization that we might not see these wonderful people again for a long time (if ever!). Worse yet, some people (like me) have an irrational fear that their friends will forget them, or that your friendship will matter less to them once you are gone. Obviously, this particular feeling is nonsense. Your bonds will not weather away for no reason, and will probably be rekindled as soon as you see each other again. However, it is helpful to keep in touch, especially if you want to continue building on your friendships and keeping your memories fresh. In order to add some excitement and experience to your chats, it’s important to engage in activities beyond just video and phone calls. Hence, I have compiled 3 ways to keep in touch that allow you and your friends to interact while also exploring a new activity together. Poker

  1. Online Game Servers - there are a multitude of online servers that allow you and your friends to play games together while video chatting as well. Some of the games that I have heard of and seen are Cards Against Humanity, Minecraft, Poker, Blackjack, Mafia, and multitudes of other multiplayer games that allow for some fun interaction while catching up on the latest news and life updates.6 women working together in conference room meeting

  2. The Presentation Game - this is a game that can be played on any video-style communication app or site. Here is how it works: Each of the conversation participants creates a picture slide presentation on a certain topic. You can make this easier or harder by adding bullet points or not. I encourage you to select images that do not necessarily have a lot to do with each other, but have a consistent theme throughout the slide show (for example, cows and blow horns). Then, you swap presentations with another participant, and they have to present your creation and improvise their script. This is why it becomes increasingly funnier when your images are random, amusing, and have very little to do with each other. The presentations should not take longer than 5 minutes or so, because jokes do run out eventually. Go around all the participants, and see who can come up with the funniest presentation!Girl on the phone with shopping bags

  3. Online Shopping - one of my favorite ways to find out more about a person is by looking at their clothing choices. This activity will also require you to share your screen, most likely. The idea here is pretty simple- you and your friend(s) take turns sharing your screens and browsing through your favorite online shopping sites. While this is obviously not a perfect replacement for real-life shopping, I think it’s as close as you can get to long-distance mall trips. As an added bonus, you might even get some new websites added to your go-tos, or learn some style tips from across the country or the world!A fuzzy screen in the back ground might say

  4. Movies - thanks to our recent quarantined situation, movie-sharing sites have been becoming increasingly popular. While this has been a life-saver for those of us stuck inside our homes day and night, movie-sharing can be used to keep in contact with friends across the globe as well. You and your friends can pick a movie, each get comfortable with popcorn, a blanket, and maybe some fairy lights, and turn on a shared movie and watch it “together”. This life hack allows you to once again hear that one friend who’s commentary is priceless, make fun of the scaredy-cat of the group, and share your thoughts on the plot live.Painting materials on a board

  5. Portraits - no matter how much we try, we will still end up in front of a screen, looking at our friends, right? So, why not take advantage of this? While portrait painting might be for the more artsy members of our population, it can still be a great deal of fun for those who are not particularly artistically inclined. It’s very easy to spin this into a joking game or caricatures, where both members are purposefully using their non-artistic abilities to create hilariously bad portraits of their friends. On the other hand, it can also serve as a very sweet memory-creating experience. You can put a lot of effort into your friend’s portrait, and then send it to them. It’s always touching and heartwarming to have a drawing that a friend made for you!

    

Unfortunately, we live in trying times where we are restricted to very few activities and long periods of loneliness. Keeping a positive mindset and finding creative solutions to some of our problems is the best coping mechanism I can see, and maintaining your relationships is important for both your mental health and your friends’. Even if nobody is reaching out to you, do not hesitate to contact your far-away friends. For all you know, they are just so swamped with work or stressed out by the events that they did not even realize that they haven’t spoken to you in a minute. Imagine that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when an old friend (or a new one!) reaches out to you to check in on you- your friends will feel exactly the same if you reach out to them! So, organize those calls, make each other laugh, and make memories virtually. We are lucky to live in a technological age that allows us to see our friends at the snap of our fingers and play card games online, and it would be a waste to not take advantage of these blessings. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected!friends hugging