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5 Activities For Long-Distance Friendships

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

After high school graduation, it can be tricky to stay in close contact with your childhood friends. Entering adulthood often means taking a new direction in life, as you finally enact your college and career plans. It usually turns out that the direction you take is different from those of the people you care most about—and yes, I’m talking about a physically different direction. My best friend, like many other students in my high school graduating class, headed to the East Coast in the fall of 2021 to pursue career opportunities there. 

There’s no doubt about it—long-distance friendships can be difficult to manage and process emotionally. I spent many tearful nights in my freshman dorm here at UCSB, wishing she was beside me. Luckily for our generation, however, we live in an age of pretty advanced technology. Not only can we call or text our friends to instantly contact them, but we can schedule fun activities to do with each other when we’re missing their company, no matter how many miles away they are.

Here are five ideas for things to do with your long-distance friends:

1. Have a Watch Party

As long as you have a common streaming service with your friend (and a common interest in movies or TV), you can hold a watch party with them! A watch party is when you watch the same film or TV episode simultaneously. Some streaming services, such as Hulu, offer watch parties as a free feature within the streaming app/website itself, while others like Netflix require a browser extension in order to do so. Popular browser extensions include Teleparty and Kast, both of which have free versions that can easily be installed through Google Chrome.

2. Make A traveling scrapbook

As fun as virtual activities can be, I’ve found that there’s still something to be said about memories captured in hard copies, such as printed photographs, physical ticket stubs, or handwritten notes. If you share the same sentiment as me, you may enjoy creating a traveling scrapbook with a close friend or even your entire friend group. 

To make a traveling scrapbook, just buy an ordinary scrapbook and keep it for a week or two. During the time you have it, fill the first few pages with photos and captions of all the activities you do. Then, mail it to your friend and have them do the same as you. If you have a large group of long-distance friends, you can pass the scrapbook through all the group members. Each person who receives it will see the fun things that the previous friends have done, and once the scrapbook is completed, you will have an adorable souvenir that covers a few months’ time in your lives!

3. Have a Virtual game night

There is an endless supply of multiplayer online games that you can try with your long-distance friends! Some popular ones include Gartic Phone (a variation of the classic Telephone game), Skribbl (a variation of Pictionary), and of course, Among Us. Playing games is a great option as it allows for plenty of interaction and laughs for everyone. For a more complete list of games to try, click here.

4. Form a Book Club

It’s the 21st century—why not make book clubs virtual with your friend(s)? This activity could function exactly as a book club would function in-person; you and your long-distance friends pick a book, assign a particular number of chapters to read for each week, and hold weekly meetings to discuss what you’ve read so far (the meetings, of course, would be video calls). A virtual book club is great as it gives you a hobby that connects you to your friends, as well as structured, consistent times to chat with them.

5. Share Recipes

Whether in-person or via video call, a great way to bond with someone is to cook and enjoy a meal together. Next time you plan to call your long-distance friend, find a recipe and suggest cooking it together. Consider it a virtual dinner date!

However, different time zones can make this particular activity tricky. If your friend is living on the opposite coast or on another continent, it may be more appropriate to simply send each other your favorite recipes. These can be cherished family recipes or just delicious meal ideas you found online. Another option is to bake items yourself and mail them to your friend. No matter what you decide to do, you’ll be sure to remind your friend of you, and you’ll make their day.

Of course, these are just a few ideas for activities to try with your friends. The possibilities for things to do with them are truly endless and only limited by your creativity. That being said, hopefully, you found these suggestions inspirational and are willing to try a couple of them!

Kendall is a third-year Communication student at UCSB and an editorial intern for Her Campus UCSB. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually either doing yoga, getting coffee, or planning her future travels.