I just spend the weekend with one of my best friends in Lake Tahoe, and it was absolutely amazing. My friend Alexandra and I met our freshman year at Cal Poly 7 years ago (which I can’t believe) and became best friends really fast. She’s one of my closest friends and I know she always will be! This weekend was perfect, and really made me realize how lucky I am to have such great friends in my life.
After graduating, all of my college friends and I moved to different cities. If there’s anything I’ve learned post-grad, it’s that maintaining long distance friendships is hard. But, long distance friendships are simply a part of life, and something we all have to get used to at one point or another. Although the past few years have been challenging, we’ve all made it work!
Here are a few of my tips for maintaining long distance friendships:
1 // Plan fun trips
There’s nothing better than a vacation with friends! While of course it’s great to visit each other in your respective cities, going on trips to new places is a great way to make even more amazing memories. It doesn’t have to be anywhere super far, just pick a fun city (or somewhere in the middle) and plan it. The actual planning can be a little tricky, but trips like these are so worth it and will definitely strengthen your friendships! My friends and I usually try to plan at least one or two trips a year.
2 // Talk on the phone
Surprisingly, talking on the phone is sometimes so hard to make time for. Life gets in the way and it’s all too easy to just say you’ll call them back later…and then it never happens! If you schedule a time to talk on the phone, make sure to follow through. Also, give your friends random phone calls. If I’m sitting in traffic and I know my friend is too, I’ll call her to catch up while I’m driving home.
3 // Send snail mail
This is one I want to start getting better at! Everyone loves getting snail mail, right?! Sending a fun letter or postcard is a great way to let your friends know you’re thinking about them in a really special way. I definitely want to remember to send postcards next time I’m traveling!
4 // Always have a visit planned
One of the most important things to do with long distance friends is to make sure you always have your next visit lined up. It’s so hard leaving your friends and not knowing when you’re going to see them again! Even though planning visits is one of the hardest things with multiple people and crazy schedules, it’s so necessary. That way you’ll have something to look forward to and plan together in the time you’re apart.
5 // Text about the little things
Texting sounds so simple, but it’s so easy to forget about. Whether it’s texting about a funny thing that happened to you during the day or something that reminded you of them, consistently texting is a great way to maintain your long distance friendships. Sometimes I’ll post in the group text I have with my friends and just ask what everyone is up to at that moment, and it’s nice to feel like we can all feel like we are a part of each others days!
And…don’t worry too much. If you go a couple weeks without talking a lot, it’s okay. Life happens and we are all busy. You might not be as close as you were living in the same city, but just know that if you put in the effort, your friendships will last!