How Do I Keep My Long-Distance Friendship Alive?

Here are some tried and tested tips and tricks that are sure to keep your friendship afloat!

Unsplash | Liz Weddon

As college season approaches, the time to say bye to your bestie is getting closer and closer. You guys have been as thick as thieves since day one so of course this new change is going to freak you out, even if you’ve done it before! You have different majors, you’re going to different schools, and you’ll both meet so many new and awesome people. As much as it sucks, these things can make it harder to keep that long-distance relationship going strong.


Is the solution changing your career path? Transferring schools? Becoming so introverted you hiss at the sight of new people?


No. No. And for the love of God no!


The goal isn’t to change, the goal is to adapt.

And here are some ways you can do it.


1. Your phone is your friend too!


Pinterest

Texting is great and all but nothing helps you stay connected more than hopping on to Facetime or Skype for a video call. Don’t get me wrong, it still hurts seeing them on a screen knowing you’re still miles apart, but it’s so much better when you actually get to see their face and talk about your day.


My best friend, we’ll call them X, calls me on facetime or skype so often sometimes I genuinely forget we’re states apart. Our schedules don’t always match up, and sometimes it’s hard finding time to call with tests and homework in the way. Though we don’t need to call every single night, on days where I feel anxious, or they just miss me, we have little study dates. A.k.a, we hop on our video chat, say our hellos, a brief how was your day?, and just do our own thing. Sometimes they watch youtube videos for hours while I’m vigorously banging out a paper, other times I’m drawing and they unmute themself to ask me if a sentence they wrote makes sense.


And when we didn’t have time for video calls, we got on a regular, good old fashioned phone call for as many minutes as we could spare. I’d keep them company on their 5 minute walk to their car, or they’d talk to me while I walked across campus to my next class.


We realized it wasn’t about how long we talked in a week, or if we talked at all, the only thing that mattered was that we kept reaching out to each other.

2. Social Media is the key to staying up to date.


Pinterest

Whether you have Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter etc. use these mediums to your advantage.


Snapchat is handy as shit when I want to let X know what’s going on in my life, and vice versa. Sure you can choose to update them the next time you talk to them, but hearing about all the fun you're having and getting to see it are completely different. I adore seeing X send me stupid videos of them just walking to the store or showing me around campus, especially since I do the same.


No one’s saying you need to be a professional vlogger, but this is a great, yet simple way to feel like you’re both still actively in each other’s lives.

Utilizing things like Instagram or Twitter is also dope too! X and I hardly ever post on our accounts, but we’re constantly sending each other funny videos we know the other will get a kick out of!


3. It’s not weird to tell people you have an online date with your bestie.


Pinterest

You’re gonna make new friends, maybe not right away, but at some point it’s bound to happen. Just remember that when they ask you to hang out, it’s okay to say you have plans with your bestie. This might seem like a stupid thing to imply, but it’s not uncommon to feel like an online hang out isn’t as important as physically making memories (like going to parties or out on a drive).


At times it may feel easier to tell your bestie you need to reschedule your call than to tell your campus friends you can’t hang out.

It’s not one versus the other, just make sure you’re aware of the balance. You don’t need to sacrifice your new friends to always be on a call, and you don’t need to dedicate every minute to your new friends either.


Ordering the same food and snacks as your bestie, and hopping on to Netflix party to watch a movie together is a memory you won’t want to miss out on.


4. Talking doesn’t always equal communicating.


Pinterest

It’s easier to ignore bringing up tough conversations when your bestie isn't a drive away.


Maybe they said something that upset you the last time you called, or maybe you’re making more time for your new friends than you are for staying in touch. Whatever the case is, you cannot—I repeat, CANNOT skip these convos. You need to keep the momentum of calling each other out when one of you crosses the line. I know first hand how tempting it can be to take how you feel and belittle it. You tell yourself it’s not a big deal, or you start making excuses because you don’t feel like talking to them without feeling hurt, but trust me when I tell you that’ll do more harm than good. If they don’t know they did something, when you pull away it’ll feel random and they’ll think it’s unjustified. Remember, they aren’t with you everyday, they don’t know what’s going on and if you don’t answer your phone there’s nothing they can do to fix things.


Texts are messy, but video calls aren’t, so find a time to talk to them about the shit you’ve been feeling.

The last thing you need is to have something special end because neither of you took the first step.


5. You’re in different states, not different galaxies, it’s okay if you don’t talk everyday.


Pinterest

It’s like Ari says,“You know time apart is beneficial, it’s like I’m the universe and you’ll be N.A.S.A,” people need SPACE!


We need time to grow, learn, and experience things on our own. It’s important to stay in touch but you don’t need to be glued to your bestie every second of the day. If you do, you may find yourself being emotionally drained more often than you think.


Plan solo activities that you can take by yourself and don’t feel pressured to spend your free time a certain way. If a video chat date with your bestie has to be rescheduled, you aren’t obligated to hang out with your other friends. We can get so used to seeking out the company of other people, we forget that our personal company can be equally fulfilling.


You miss your bestie like hell and that’s okay. It’s hard when the person who knows you like the back of their hand isn’t there in person to make these college memories with you, but this isn’t the end.

So long as the two of you keep reaching out to each other, you’ll barely feel like they’ve been gone a day. And before you know it, time will fly, your college years will be gone, and your friendship will be stronger than before!


No matter where you are in the world, you’ll know you have what it takes to truly be best friends forever.


Pinterest

Wishing you hugs and laughter,

Draco Rose