Top Five Ways to Keep in Touch with Long Distance Friends

The start of a new semester is here! For students, it’s to return to campus and log back into Zoom University. During this time of limited social activity for everyone, it becomes that much harder to talk with friends in a safe and fun way, so today, I’m going to provide some useful tips and tricks for group activities this semester.

  1. 1. Movie Nights

    Disney plus on tv on stand showing disney plus

    Group movie nights are an easy, exciting way to keep conversation active. Platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and even Amazon Prime have expanded their websites to include watch party features. When viewing movies, groups can make watch parties a weekly activity and have each person pick a new movie for the week. This also goes for tv shows where you all can watch a few episodes a week when starting a new show together. 

     

    You might ask, “what if not everyone has an account”? A simple solution for this would be to watch over Zoom. This allows the host to screen share the movie with everyone while also being on a video chat. With it being so simple, you should go plan a movie night right now! 

  2. 2. Weekly Workout Challenges

    During school, it can be very hard to commit and stick to a workout schedule during a busy or lazy week. With quarantine, gloomy winter weather and social distancing requirements, it is that much harder to enjoy exercising. Apps including My Run Keeper, Apple Fitness, My Fitness Pal and Strava are workout trackers that can connect you and your friend’s fitness progress. With these apps, you can all sign up for weekly goals and challenges while accounting for each other's progress. These activities work together by promoting healthy competition and a healthy lifestyle for everyone.

  3. 3. Book Clubs

    Woman with book resting in bedroom

    For some friend groups, reading is preferred over watching movies or TV. This activity can allow for meaningful conversation when comparing everyones thoughts on different chapters. By working similarly with the movie night basis, friends may rotate choosing a book each month or every few months, and may have weekly check-ins with chapter updates on a specific day. These conversations can be held over facetime, Zoom or regular group calls to allow for a fun and interactive discussion on the books read.

  4. 4. Arts and Crafts Night

    paint-splattered gloves against yellow background

    There are so many ways groups can have a crafts night ranging from friend portraits to scrapbooking. All you need to start with are your preferred crafting supplies that cater to that specific activity. Some easy options are:

    Decorating picture frames

    Picking an image or scene for everyone to paint/draw

    Have everyone draw a portrait of a different person in the group 

    Cut out magazine pictures to make mood boards 

    Make friendship bracelets to give to one person in the group

    The possibilities for an arts and crafts nights are endless and it can all be factored toward each friend’s strengths. Accompanying these activities with some music and food will allow for a fun Zoom night where you go come home with a reward.

  5. 5. Game Night

    Who said that because you aren’t in person you can’t still have game night? Well, it is so much easier than you think because there are plenty of games to choose from. Game nights are a classic that span for generations, so distance from friends won’t stop it from happening. Websites including My Free Bingo Cards allow for many bingo games with plenty of card themes to choose from. Another website is the Board Game Arena that filters tens of traditional and unique board games of which you can play with people from all around the world. If you opt for games that don’t require a website at all, just play things like scattergories, charades, who’s most likely to or even pictionary over Zoom. Either option you and your friends choose will lead to a fun night full of laughs.

With the fun different options provided, hopefully they can help each of your friend groups have an easy transition back into school while still maintaining strong relations throughout the semester!