College really can be the best four years of your life. The amazing classes, getting away from your parents, getting to wear sweatpants most of the time without being looked at strangely (was that just me?) and of course the friends that you make in those years.
Nothing brings friends together quite like drunken nights baring your soul about how much your parents suck or why high school blowed. Those long library nights studying for a test … you just wouldn’t have gotten through it were it not for those friends or friend that stayed up and studied all through the night with you. You laughed. You cried. It was great. But now you are leaving school. And things are going to change.
Now you have to worry about a job, the everyday stressors of being an adult, and perhaps y’all don’t even live in the same area anymore. It can be easy for these amazing and strong relationships to turn non-existent just because of the everyday flow of life. It is natural. But it doesn’t have to be that way. These relationships can persevere, strong as ever.
Call em’ Up
I know it sounds silly, but if you are all spread out around the country or even the globe, calling your friend up is a good way to show them that you care. Yes, you can’t see their face, or grab a beer. Perhaps that makes it even more special though. It shows that you care enough to do all that you can, even if it is just something simple like that. Sometimes simple gestures really are quite charming.
Social Media is Your Friend
Kind of in the same vein as giving your friend(s) a call. Show them that you are still interested in their lives, even if you aren’t going to the dining hall or cramming for a midterm exam together anymore. “Like” their photos, comment on them, and send the occasional message, maybe just saying “hi”. Just staying in touch in this way, knowing what is going on in that person’s life, is a very good way of staying in their minds and hearts. Hell, tag them in things every now and then too!
Go Out of Your Way
If you do happen to be fortunate enough to have resettled in the same general vicinity then you don’t have any excuse to try and make it work. If you know that this person has a particular joy of a certain activity than go out of your way to do those things especially, of course inviting them along for the ride. Life post-college is chaotic and busy, so be sure to make time and get creative and, now more than ever, is the time for generosity. So, yes go that play even though you hate theater. Because your friend is worth it.
Be More Flexible
You guys aren’t living two doors down from each other anymore (most likely) and so it is going to be harder to see each other. And with that, on top of work, it will all be pretty tough. So you’ll have to be more flexible. You might have to take a train ride, or two, or a bus to go see them. But if the friendship is important to you, you might have to learn to deal with certain discomforts like that. Bonus points: Dealing with the discomfort will really show your friend that you care.
Send Letters and Never Forget a Birthday!
This is a two for one. Slug mail is charming. Especially because nobody does it anymore. Don’t be afraid to send a letter to your friend. I don’t care if they live across the street. It is still really nice and thoughtful. Also, never never never ever forget your friend’s birthday, even if you will not be able to party it up with them this year. Show them you have them in your thoughts.
Plan a Reunion
If you two are so far apart that you can’t just scoot on over even if only for a weekend, then clearly more elaborate measures need to be taken to ensure that your beautiful friendship remains intact and thriving. So perhaps establishing a yearly reunion date is in order! Every year pick a new place that is equidistant to each of your locations; A nice spot that you can spend a few days comfortably and just have a great time.