Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

I was lucky enough to meet the greatest people in college. Friendships formed in cramped freshmen dorms turned into best friendships in our shared apartments and houses. Then came the day we all dreaded: graduation. We couldn’t imagine life without our wine nights and Netflix binges, but we knew it would soon become our reality when we moved to opposite corners of the country.

Living far from your best friends is not easy, but I am excited to report that my friendships feel as strong as ever even months after our goodbyes at graduation! Here are some tips for overcoming the distance to stay close with your best friends.

Make the most of technology

For a big group of friends, GroupMe or another messaging app is a fantastic tool. My friends and I set up a group message to make plans while we were in school, and we still use it to talk to each other every day! It has made keeping in touch so much easier.

Video chatting makes me feel like my friends are right there with me. FaceTime allowed one of my friends to join me at my birthday party all the way from Portland!

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Be there for the big moments

Call your friends after a big interview. Send a handwritten letter to congratulate them on a promotion. Venmo them a few dollars to buy a tequila shot in celebration of the grad school exam they aced. Write their birthdays in your planner, and include a note on the calendar four days prior to remind yourself to take their gifts to the post office.

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Adjust the activities you enjoy together

TV nights were a big deal in my college house. One roommate infected the rest of us with her reality TV addiction, and it was difficult to imagine watching the Bachelorette without my best friends on the couch next to me. So we made a group message to talk during the show! It was much more fun than watching alone, and it gave us a reason to talk every Monday.

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Since we couldn’t be workout buddies at the gym anymore, we found a new way to keep each other motivated! We created a workout challenge, and we received a tally for each sweaty selfie we sent each other.

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Be patient with each other

Long distance is a big change from living down the hall or around the corner from your friends, so you should expect things to feel a little different. Sometimes life gets busy, and you might forget to check in with your friends as often as you should. Remember they are going through a lot as well, so don’t get frustrated if they forget to reply to your text message. Give it your best effort and trust they will too!

Make travel plans

Technology is helpful, but there’s nothing like the real thing! The best part of having long distance friendships? You can plan awesome trips without paying for a hotel! Traveling may feel like it’s out of your budget, but trust me, it is always worth it. You can look for deals by setting alerts on a site like KAYAK, Expedia or Orbitz to get notified when flights are discounted in a city you want to visit.

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You could also start a blog to show your friends how cool your city is and make them want to visit. Wait, we didn’t have any alternative motives for creating this site, we swear…

What tricks do you have for keeping your friendships close? Comment below, and send this post to your besties to let them know you’re thinking about them!

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