How to navigate long distance friendships


With the start of an academic year, you may notice a new strain on your relationships. Maybe you are a freshman who moved across the country to further your education, or maybe you are a senior commuter student who has lived in South Florida your whole life. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, college life can have an effect on your friendships, causing you to lose touch with even your closest friends.

If you are struggling to communicate with your best friend now that school is back in session, know that you are not alone. It is totally normal to feel like your relationships have changed, and sometimes the shift does indicate naturally growing apart. If you are still interested in keeping in touch and not losing your friendships, there are many great ways to stay close with your friends even if you are hundreds of miles apart.

Check out some of these tips that students have for staying in touch with your friends:

Ashlee Bottomley
Printed with permission from J. Register

Ashlee Bottomley, sophomore marine biology major, said: 

“I’m friends with all of my friends on social media, so of course staying in contact through Facebook, Snapchat, all that, is good. I message them every day, or I try to anyways, and if I can’t really talk much I’ll say ‘Hey, I’m busy right now but I’ll talk to you later,’ and I usually Skype or call them later. I at least keep in contact with them and let them know how things are going and if I’m busy I let them know why I haven’t been able to talk to them, that way I don’t completely drop them off.”

Samantha Rodriguez
Printed with permission from J. Register

Samantha Rodriguez, first year psychology graduate student, said: 

“The biggest thing for keeping in touch would probably be social media. Staying in contact through Facebook or Instagram is the best. Also, just giving them a call every once in awhile just to check in.”

Josh Enfinger
Printed with permission from J. Register

Josh Enfinger, freshman chemistry major, said:

“Back home we all just have a group chat where we make fun of each other, so if one of us has a plan to go somewhere or if we are coming back from wherever we are, we’ll text each other and say we’re going back to that area. We all know where our friends are, so if we all decide to go somewhere we’ll tell our friend if we’re going that way and say ‘Oh we’ll meet you up there.”

As you can see, students tend to revert to social media to see what their friends back home or at another school are up to. Social media makes it easy to not only keep up with the Kardashians, but also with your long distance friends. While staying in touch with your friends back home may be challenging at times, it is worth it to keep the relationship strong. There’s always time to send a text, give them a call in between classes or just keep in touch via social media.