Last week I got to see two of my best friends, Jordan and Hattie, for Jordan’s 21st birthday. We all met up at her house and spent the afternoon on the lake, visiting Jordan’s grandmas, and wrapping things up with her birthday party! It was great to see them again (we’d met up earlier in the summer to see The Fault in Our Stars and to have dinner), plus I was pretty busy the first half of June and it was nice just to get away for a day and do nothing but hang out with my friends.
That being said, it’s hard for me to keep up with my college friends over the summer. “Out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t really apply. It’s mostly just that I have so much going on that when I think about checking in with friends and seeing when we can meet up it’s in the middle of something. But, that’s no real excuse and being proactive about keeping in touch with my friends is something I need to be better about.
So here are a few things Jordan’s Birthday Extravaganza taught me about how to better stay in touch with my college friends:
Friends that eat together, stay together. Meals are quick and easy ways to get together with friends who live in the same area as you. Everybody’s got to eat, and you can make lunch or dinner last as long or as short as you need to. Plus, who doesn’t like an excuse to eat at fun restaurants?
Group Messaging is your friend. Jordan, Hattie, and I have a group chat that’s been going on for a long time. It’s fun to shoot each other funny things we come across or things that happen during our days with each other. At school it’s easier to tell each other these things in person, but during the summer, when they’re not just a walk away, keeping up with your friends on text is an easy way to keep each other in the loop.
And Snapchat, if you’re into it. I’m a occasional Snapchat user, but I love to see my friends’ snaps of their everyday summer lives every now and then. I’m not the best at always snapping back, but if you like the app it’s another great option to keep in touch. If your friends are out of the country, it can also be better than iMessaging depending on their WiFi situation.
Meet them in their element. You know your best friend’s college room inside and out, but have you ever seen the park she frequented as a kid? Her childhood bedroom? The tree house in her backyard? Especially the summer after your freshman year, it’s fun to visit your friends’ hometowns and see where they lived before campus. I loved hanging out on Jordan’s lake, seeing her family, and just experiencing a day in the life of my dear friend. Even friends who live close, like my friend Hattie, have their own personal places and neighborhoods that are a part of them. I think this is the best way to stay close to your friends over the summer, and even learn some things about them along the way :)
Plan day visits. If you live close enough, get-togethers don’t have to be extended events. Hattie and I got to Jordan’s around one in the afternoon and left later that night. We still had plenty of time for fun and for catching up with each other. While of course weekend-long adventures are also good ways to see one another, sometimes all you can squeeze in is a day. And even those days will stand out to you as a highlight in your summer.
I hoped some of these helped! But keeping in touch is a constant effort. I’m still trying to get better at hanging out with my friends instead of hiding on my couch with my technology (like I am right now… ;)). But when you’re intentional about it, staying in touch with your friends is much easier. What advice do you have for staying in touch? How do you keep in touch with friends you don’t see every day?