4 Ways to Make a Long-Distance Friendship Last

It is safe to say that being away from home is never easy. You’re away from everything familiar and are placed into an unknown environment where your only comfort in getting around is relied on by Google Maps. It would help to have your friends around. You know, the people who have seen you do the stupidest things and yet still accept all your craziness? Except, they’re spread out across the map. 

Whenever I click on Find My Friends, all I see is me and my UDUB friends all the way up here in Washington and everyone else back in California. It makes me miss them. A lot. There are certain friendships that you know can last a lifetime, but the only struggle is just making sure they last. And it’s the distance that makes us question whether or not certain friendships are strong enough. In my eyes though, the distance is just a number. The roughly 1,147 miles between me and my hometown friends is nothing. Maybe I’m just lucky to have amazing friends or maybe it’s because we saw one another at our highs and lows. Either way, we make the long-distance thing work. And here’s how:

1. Texting and Facetime

Many say that it gets harder to text your hometown friends about your college life or updates, especially if they don’t go to the same school. They don’t know the people, the drama, the party scene, or about your classes. And while I do admit that explaining situations and the people involved are challenging since they don’t actually know them, it isn’t impossible. 

My friends and I update one another constantly. Is it confusing sometimes? Yes. But does it make for excellent tea-spilling and is it just fun to catch up? Always. I text my best friend almost daily, and half of the time it’s just nonsense! We rant about classes, complain about boys, cheer each other on, have deep talks when we get sad, and we rejoice in one another’s victories. It’s about being there for them, even if you aren’t physically there. 

On top of that, face-timing my friends has been one of the most comforting parts of my day. It’s not only the face-to-face interactions that one needs to feel that friendship again, but it’s a good way to destress and catch up through a more personal connection. I facetime my friends back at home a couple of times a week. Every single time is another embarrassing story, a bunch of laughs, and a lot of “I miss you”’s.

2. Putting in the effort 

College gets busy. We suffocate ourselves with classes, midterms, and insert ourselves into extracurriculars in order to succeed in life. It’s like highschool put on 5x speed. With everything being flung at us, communicating with our friends seems to be the last thing on our minds. Even with all the effort towards school and our future though, putting in that small amount of care into catching up with our friends could be the very thing that holds the friendship together. Friendship is a two-way street. 

3. Getting together whenever we can 

Before heading off to college, I pushed in as many hangouts into one week as I possibly could with the people that mean the most to me. Even at that time, I knew that there would be difficulties in getting everyone together or meeting up. We were all going on our own separate paths and had to prep for that. Despite that, we all knew we had to get together one last time or else we wouldn’t see each other for another four months. 

Now a month into college, my friends and I still plan hangouts for when we do get back. We all know that our time back home is limited by family, relaxation, preparation for the next quarter, and other priorities, so making time for one another is a crucial part of keeping the friendship going. Even if it’s just once, meeting up with your old friends shows how much you care and how much their friendship means to you. 

4. Realizing the reality of adult friendships

There is a difference between obtaining friendships as adults versus as high schoolers. The concept of adult friendships is usually built on connections, work, similar aspirational goals, and is based on, not the desire for friendship, but the necessity of forming connections with one another for the professional world. On the other hand, friendships in high school are bound by similar interests, having grown up with one another, and for fun in order to build lifelong friendships. The latter has more pure intentions. It is admittable that keeping those high school friendships and transferring them into one’s own adult life is challenging. Each person has their own life, with now different friend groups and are still changing as a person, so it is rough to keep a majority of the friendships. And while many do say that a majority of friendships do not last past high school, the ones that do are the ones that will stick by you for the rest of your life. That may be the friendships you make in college, it may be your high school ones, or it may be both. Either way, you'll find your people and they will be the ones that make adulthood a little bit less suffocating and more fun. 

 

I’m not trying to tell you what to do with your friendships, nor am I stating that your childhood friendships will dissolve before your very eyes. There is a reality to friendships though as we continue to grow up and it is dependent on if the two parties put in the effort to be a part of that relationship. My experience may not be an exact reflection of yours, but I’m grateful enough to still have those special, LA friendships while I’m up here. I’m even more blessed to have found such great people in Seattle. So what I’m saying is, continue that effort. Keep face-timing and texting. Don’t forget about the ones at home, and don’t forget about the ones who are right next to you. And most importantly, don’t lose the ones that mean the most to you, no matter how close or far away they are.