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Why You Should Have a Pen Pal in College

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

When my friend moved away from San Francisco, we decided to keep in touch through letters. Although we slowly stopped sending letters to each other, I still have all the letters she sent to me and love going back time and time to read them again. I started having a pen pal again in college, so here are some of the reasons why I have one.

1. It’s fun receiving mail.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m STILL waiting for my letter from Hogwarts. I know it will come eventually, so while we’re waiting, why not send letters back and forth to other friends from other schools? The feeling of seeing a handwritten letter in the mail is such an exciting moment. It’s almost just as magical as sending mail by owls.

2. Keeps you in touch with friends.

Image via Tenor

It’s hard keeping in touch with friends back at home. Schedules clash and there just doesn’t seem to be any time. When you happen to be free, your friend back home isn’t or vice versa. You just don’t have time to Facetime every single one of your friends every day. Sending a quick text doesn’t quite express the emotions you are going through or do your hilarious story justice. Writing letters makes it so much easier because you can sit down whenever you do have time to explain all the little things happening in your life thoroughly.

3. Surprises!

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Not only is getting mail a surprise, but you don’t know what your pen pals will send you! My pen pals have sent me care packages, tea, chocolate, hand warmers, and stationery! You never know what they can fit into that envelope! Even if it’s just a simple letter, it’s enough to brighten your day.

4. Helps you reflect.

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I love writing letters. Despite my letters being addressed to someone, most of the time, they are meant for myself. They really help me reflect on what has happened throughout the past few weeks or days. It really helps me to write letters when I’m feeling stressed. I feel calmer and gives me a little break from all the homework I have to do.

5. Old letters become treasures.

Image via chibird

Some people may say that snail mail is old fashioned, but it’s fun and exciting! It means a lot to people to receive a handwritten note especially during this time where social media and other forms of technology keep people in touch. My pen pals have told me that they love rereading letters and having that physical copy is so different from the tons of DMs and text messages that are exchanged without much thought these days. All the handwritten letters that I’ve received will definitely become memory-filled treasures as I look back on them in the future.

Tiffany is a first year pre-Psych and Brain Sciences major from San Francisco. She is a huge fan of kpop, studio ghibli movies, and webtoons. She loves to penpal and read whenever she can find the time. You can always find her daydreaming as she stares up at the sky, whether its during the day or at night.
Adar Levy

UCSB '19

Adar is a fourth-year student at UC Santa Barbara, studying Sociology. She is an avid creative writer, podcast listener, music enthusiast, and foodie. Loving everything from fashion and lifestyle to women's empowerment, she hopes to work for a major women's publication one day. See what Adar is up to on Instagram @adarbear.