How to Make a Long-Distance Friendship Work

When all of my friends and I were applying to college in senior year of high school, a couple of us started to prematurely discuss how amazing it would be if we all ended up going to the same school.

Two of my best friends and I planned out what our shared dorm would look like, what clubs we would join and how we would put up with each other’s messiness.

But when college acceptances came out and we all chose the best school for us we realized that we would not be going to the same schools and we would have to tackle college and this new chapter in our lives by ourselves.

But even though we would not physically be there with one another, we would not be starting college alone. I knew that I would always have my best friends there for me regardless of the distance between us.

However, college introduces so many new stressors and activities that sometimes even the most important friendships can end up being affected.

Over the course of the last few years in college, though, I have kept in touch with friends that go to other schools far away, with just a few tips and tricks. 

Plan FaceTime dates 

Technology has advanced so much and has made it easier to keep in contact with people.

While FaceTiming someone might not be as great as being able to go and hang out with them in person, being able to pick up the phone and see your best friend after a rough day is a close second.

Everyone gets super busy in college though and when you call your friend randomly, you guys might just end up in a game of phone tag, but this is where setting up a specific day or time to FaceTime one another might help.

By setting aside around an hour on a specific day and time every week or once a month guarantees time for you and your best friend to catch up without having to rush off the phone.

But sometimes it’s also nice to call up your friend randomly and talk on the phone in between classes or while getting ready and it allows for more frequent talks and updates with one another. 

Introduce your new friends to your old friends  

When you introduce your new friends to your friends from back home, it feels like your worlds are colliding and like you’re taking place in a crossover episode, you know the ones where two Disney Channel shows would merge for one crazy special.

But then after the initial weirdness of seeing people from two different parts of your life merging, you’ll get this warm feeling at seeing your new friends connect and meet your old friends.

Once your friends meet your new friends and you meet theirs you feel as if you are now a part of this new life they have created for themselves in college.

When you and your friend meet each other’s new friends, it makes filling each other in/ sharing stories easier, because you’ll both who all these new people are in each other’s lives are.

This summer, I even drove up with my best friend for her friend’s birthday to celebrate with them all.

It felt great to know that even though we both had gained so many new, amazing friends that we could merge both of our worlds together and feel included in each other’s new lives.

If you can, visit one another at least once a semester 

It may be hard to take time and plan for a weekend where both you and your friend are not busy with school, work or any of the other millions of things that can make a college student busy.

But if there is a spot in both of your schedules that allows for you guys to visit each other that is a great way to reconnect with your friend after not seeing each other in person for a while.

Having my friend take me along to her club events, showing me around her new apartment and taking me out to her favorite places to go around her school gave me a glimpse at what her life was like in college.

I also did the same and showed my friend around Gainesville.

It was so nice, and I felt even more comfortable in my new home because I got to meld it with a part of my old life.

Also, as the semester wears on, it gets increasingly more stressful and tiring and there might not be much to look forward to, past all the exams and papers that one might have due.

When school becomes too much it’s nice to know that there might be a time when you can take a break and go catch up with someone that you don’t have the opportunity to see that often. 

It can seem impossible to keep in touch with friends that live far away while also balancing all that comes with being in college.

But it is because of the effort that I have put into keeping my old friendships from home alive that helps me feel less stressed about school or whatever else life throws at me.

There are so many options nowadays because of technology allowing us to feel as if our friends are there right alongside us tackling this new chapter of our lives.

Keeping in touch with my friends from home that know me the best and have been there for me throughout most of my life, and in some of my most difficult moments, has allowed me to have the peace of mind of knowing I will always have this constant support system no matter the physical distance that may come between us.