By Sydney Threet
You took the senior trip together, you spend every long summer day lounging by the pool together, and you shop for college supplies together. It seems like you and your besties have the strongest relationship and that nothing, not even going to college 2,000 miles apart, will break… Nothing, that is, except a busy class schedule, making new friends, finding your way around town, stalking (in a totally non-creepy way) that cutie from bio and taking full advantage of your unlimited meal plan. With such a packed schedule, how’s a girl supposed to find time to Skype with, much less visit, her long lost BFF who is equally as busy? College students across the country agree -- staying in touch with your high school friends means making time for them.
The summer before I left for college, I spent every waking moment with my three closest friends. One of them was attending the same college I would be in the fall, one was a rising senior in high school, and one would be finishing up one more year at a local college before transferring. I thought I couldn’t survive one day without talking to them, and when I first started classes, I texted or called them fairly often. But then I got busy with extracurriculars, schoolwork and finding time to sleep. I lost touch with them. Luckily, I have been able to get back on track with one friend, but the other graduated and moved to the city, and now I rarely talk to her. So how can you avoid making the same mistakes I did?
Meet Skype, your new BFF
For those of you who will be purchasing a laptop for college, downloading Skype is a great way to keep in touch.
Krista, a student studying at Simmons, gave her secret on how she and her high school BFFs stayed close: “I actually stayed close with three of my best friends from high school. Which is really interesting since we all went to school in different places across the country. We basically just stayed close by Skyping and updating on each other’s life occasionally. Of course, we made new friends but we definitely made sure to keep in touch.”
The great thing about Skype is that you can chat with one, two, or multiple people at the same time through video conferencing. You can not only hear each other, but see each other as well, so it’s more like a face-to-face conversation. It’s like the cafeteria catch-up session you had every day in high school without the mystery meat! Choosing a specific time each week (or day, month, etc.) to Skype that works with everyone’s schedule and sticking to it is really important for keeping in touch. Think of the Skype date as you would think of any other plans you would make with your friends -- make sure to keep them. Just because you’re chatting through a computer doesn’t mean it’s OK to break your plans.
Blog About It
If you think blogs are only for those who have something interesting to write about, you’re right! But luckily for you, your besties think the awkward conversation you had with your TA or the “genius” idea you came up with last night is interesting. Making a blog together allows each friend to write about her life and catch up on everyone else’s in her own time. Scheduling a Skype date with nine of your closest friends can be almost as challenging as figuring out a weekend to go home, but with a blog, you can catch up at 2 a.m. if you want.
Catherine, a Princeton student, said that a blog was just one of the ways she and her besties kept in touch. “My friends and I created a blog when we parted for college. Each of us posts a few times a month with little stories and updates of our lives. These posts allow us to update everyone in between Skype sessions and face-to-face hangouts over break, and I think it's really helped us stay connected to each other.”
There are several free blog services like Blogger and Wordpress that allow you and your pals to easily set one up. Whatever site you choose, make sure you set the privacy setting to where the only people who can read the blog are those whom you allow. Make sure to only give your friends the password so that no one else can read or post on your blog. Also, even if you have the strictest privacy settings, don’t post anything you wouldn’t want getting out -- no racy pictures, no inappropriate ranting and no gossip! If your blog gets hacked (or someone forgets to log out in the library), you want to be on the safe side with your content.
It’s The Little Things
Facebook-stalking may seem like a small way of keeping in touch, but sometimes small things go a long way. Alexa, a student at James Madison University, said that Facebook is a great way to stay connected. “Whenever I was bored or hadn't talked to them in a while, I would shoot them a wall post or comment on a photo or something small that showed I was still thinking about them.” Leaving a simple, “Hey. Miss you. Have a great day!” voicemail on her phone is another great way of letting your BFF know that you’re thinking of them.
Another small way of keeping in touch is sending a card (yes, through the mail) to your friend wishing him or her good luck on an econ test or just to tell them you miss them. Sending mail is not only a great way to let your friend know you’re thinking about them, but it’s also a lovely way to brighten their day. My best friend from home sent me a card congratulating me on getting into an organization, and that card is still hanging in my room two years later. Little things like a card or a wall post are great ways to remind your besties that they are your besties, even if you’re miles apart.