The summer after you graduate high school will come and go before you know it.
Soon, you’ll be moving to a new place, meeting new people, and starting an educational journey without your high school BFFs. In the face of so much change, leaving for college or university can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, it’s actually going to be one the most exciting times in your life. Embracing this new chapter definitely doesn’t mean that you have to leave your old friends behind. All you have to do is set realistic expectations for keeping in touch.
Schedule Skype Dates
Skype (or Google Hangout) is a great way to stay in touch because when you’re miles away from your friends, it’s the closest thing you’ll get to a face-to-face conversation. As an added bonus, you can chat with multiple people at the same time through video conferencing, making it easier for your whole friend group to stay close. Just remember that when you’re away, you’re going to be busy, so aim to schedule Skype calls on a monthly basis to start. Once you get settled into your routine, feel free to make them more frequent.
Keep a Group Facebook Message
Skype is awesome but let’s face it; it’s not realistic to use it every day. Social media, on the other hand, is something that most of us check on a daily (or sometimes hourly) basis. Almost everyone has a Facebook account and while you’re away at school, Facebook’s Messenger component can really come in handy for staying connected while you’re on the go. By keeping a group message going between your friend group, you can easily update each other on what’s going on in your life, share photos or links, and make plans to see each other. Plus, with Messenger there’s no pressure to respond immediately, so you can do so when you have free time.
Visit Each Other
No matter how great technology can be, nothing beats seeing your friends face-to-face. Obviously this isn’t something that can happen every weekend, especially if you’re miles apart, but planning a special trip to see each other can help you keep in touch. If you have a homecoming at your campus, or your friend has a lacrosse championship at theirs, make plans to visit them so you can show each other your new stomping ground when there are fun events and activities happening. Also, make sure it’s a slow week school-wise, so you don’t have to worry about fitting in a ton of time for assignments.
Send Snail Mail
There may be times when you just don’t have the time to visit in-person, and that’s ok. Another great way to stay in touch with your friends is by sending them something in the mail. It may seem a little archaic, but let’s be honest; most mail these days is junk or bills so it can really brighten someone’s day to get a letter from a friend. You can send something as simple as a card for their birthday, or a postcard from the new city you’re living in. If you’re feeling a little more extravagant, send them a mini care package with some of your favourite snacks, inside jokes, and old photos. This can really strengthen your connection while you’re away!
Plan a Reunion
During the school year, you may not be able to see your whole friend group at the same time. You’re all going to have different schedules, so this is to be expected. But on the plus side, it will give you that much more of an incentive to plan something big (or small) for when you’re all back home together. The perfect time might be during a reading week, a holiday break, or over the summer, so plan wisely and plan far in advance. Plus, your upcoming reunion will give you something to look forward to, which will help motivate you to get through your classes, assignments, and exams.
Netflix and Chat
Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting your friend group together to watch the latest episode of your favourite TV show, but what happens when you all leave for different schools? Fortunately, a new tool exists that makes it possible for you to sync your Netflix sessions with your friends. All you have to do is download a Chrome extension called Showgoers. The site will then give you instructions on how to sync you session with as many friends as you want (with one person being able to pause and play for everyone). All you’ll have to do is Facetime everyone so you can react to the show together. As an added bonus, you’ll all be up-to-date on the latest episode when you’re able to get together and watch in person.
When you and your high school friends go your separate ways to college or university, it doesn’t mean the end of your friendship. By setting realistic expectations for keeping in touch, you can maintain those relationships and even make them grow stronger. Remember, while you make use of the tips offered above, don’t be afraid to open yourself up to new friendships. You’re going to meet a ton of new people and student life is a big part of your university experience.
The new friends you make will help you get through school and enhance your social life. You don’t need to feel guilty about adding to your friend group – your high school friends are all doing the same thing! Just remember that it is entirely possible to keep up with all of your friends, old and new.