Frosh-cessities: How to stay in touch with friends from home

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You’re a month into college already (it’s crazy, I know), and as everything (sort of) begins to calm down, you finally have the chance to catch up with your friends from home about all the crazy things you’ve done, people you’ve met, classes you’ve taken, hookups you’ve regretted, and so on. But suddenly, you sit down to talk, and you don’t know where to begin. So much has happened, and you almost don’t want to say anything. For the first time, your BFF doesn’t know who you’re talking about when you say “that guy down the hall with the weird laugh.” You’re starting to come to the realization that you live in distinct and separate worlds, and talking to people who don’t experience your little bubble every day can be hard. But don’t worry! Here are some steps you can take to make it a little bit easier to stay in touch with close friends from home:

1. Have shorter conversations more often. It might seem like a good idea to set up times once a week, or however often, when you can talk for hours about every single thing that’s happened to you. But that can be pretty exhausting and tough to maintain. Instead, try squeezing in shorter conversations, even if they’re only ten minutes, more often. The little details will start adding up so that you have a better sense of each other’s lives, and vice versa. When you have friend drama or ~love~ troubles, your friends will likely already know the people you’re talking about and be ready to jump in with quality advice.

2. Make time for your friends from home. These first few weeks, you’ve probably felt so overwhelmed that you barely have time to eat, let alone stop everything to FaceTime your friends. There’s always something you could or should be doing. Most often, however, you either have the time or are capable of making the time if you really want to. You would probably spend that half hour procrastinating, anyway, so stop with the excuses!

3. Understand when your friends are actually busy and/or just need space. As lovely as constant contact is, there’ll inevitably be moments when your friends just won’t be able to talk to you. Don’t take this personally. Everyone’s freaking out and trying to be social with new college acquaintances, and while friends from home will always have your back, they’re going through the same thing, too. Although it might sometimes feel like everyone’s moving on, there will always come a time when your friend will call you (probably at 2 a.m.) because no one else will understand them like you do.

4. Spice up your form of communication. There’s only so much opportunity for excitement over the phone or Skype. You might be more motivated to keep in touch if you can think of something fun to keep the conversation going. Send some good old-fashioned snail mail (a personal favorite), for example, and you could even throw in a little gift inside the envelope if you’re feeling ambitious. Or, if you’re feeling extra creative, try out the sibling-hood of the traveling scrapbook: you and your friends put photos, ticket stubs, stickers, journal entries, etc. inside a scrapbook and create a joint time capsule of your freshman years.

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Never let those friends go!!

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