Maintaining long-distance friendships

When you left for college, you probably left a lot behind. This may include a friend who you felt you couldn’t live without, and are still struggling to live without. Moving into the dorms or a new apartment and enduring countless life changes without the help and encouragement of a best friend can leave you lonely and confused. Keeping a friendship going when the two of you are miles away is undoubtedly a challenge, but it is a challenge that can result in an even stronger bond.

1. Text frequently

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Texting can never take the place of face-to-face encounters, but staying up-to-date with your friend’s daily life can make it feel like you’re more connected. If you went to high school together or saw each other regularly, you probably knew many of the pointless little details of their day. Conversations don’t have to be time-consuming or complex to have meaning. Just complaining about classes together or sending random emojis/funny pictures/snapchats can help keep communication constant and convenient.

2. Make time for long phone/video calls

It’s not enough to keep things on the surface level. Check in once every two weeks, or more if you have time. Use these calls to talk on a deeper level about what’s happening in your lives, exchange advice and opinions, and tell the funny stories that texting just can’t convey.

3. Share your struggles and successes

Maybe you aced a major project, or didn’t get an interview. It’s important to confide in our close friends when it comes to the highs and lows of life, especially when we’re separated by hours or days. This builds and maintains trust and vulnerability, and gives us the chance to celebrate or comfort depending on the situation.

4. Send gifts

Birthdays and major holidays are perfect times to remind someone we care with a gift, but don’t forget that random care packages can be even more meaningful. Don’t focus on impressing them with cost or quality, but put effort into finding things that fit their taste or hold sentimental value.

5. Keep them in your thoughts

People we care about cross out minds frequently. Taking time to reflect on phone calls with your friend can give you ideas of what to follow up on next time.

6. Cherish memories

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Despite the obvious fact that you and your friend have parted ways and are building new futures, don’t forget all of the events that brought you two to where you are. Laughing or rolling your eyes at the past is a great way to remind yourself why this friendship is so valuable and worth the extra effort now that you’re apart.

7. Follow each other on social media

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. They’re like little sprinkles on top of the friendship cupcake. Scroll through your friend’s pages once in a while to see cool photos or funny statuses.

8. Visit

This step takes the most effort, but it’s also the most rewarding. From the initial countdown to the bittersweet goodbye, reuniting with your friend can open so many opportunities to reconnect and do things together that are now possible in a new stage of life in college.