Today marks the end of my sophomore year of college. I packed all my things and cheerfully said goodbye to my sorority sisters, who I have become insanely close with in the past year. A few days before, I said goodbye to my freshman-year friends who, a year ago, I was tearfully hugging as my parents waited downstairs to take me home. A year ago, I swore to myself that living in different places would not change anything between me and the people who I had become so close with. But a lot can change in a year.
So, how did i keep my promise to myself? Here are a few ways:
Facebook, Facebook, Facebook
I know you already do it, so this will be easy. Spend time on Facebook: between classes, on the weekends, during study breaks. If you log on while you have free time, you’ll see what’s going on in your friends’ lives. While you’re on, strike up a Facebook chat. One of my close friends from freshman year and I Facebook chat every day, even if it’s just to hear about the other’s day — we chat. It’s an excellent way to keep in touch without having to walk across campus or drive downtown. I feel just as close to her even if I can’t walk down the hall to gossip or tell her about my day. Also, it’s advantageous late at night or at the library where quiet is key.
When you don’t live right next to the elevator or right next to your best friends, you won’t always know what everyone is doing for dinner. Some of your friends will make plans without you, and feeling left out is no fun. Instead of getting mad or hurt, use it as a reminder that it’s been a while since you’ve seen your friends. Shoot a text to a few close friends to meet for lunch on campus, send a mass text to all of your friends to meet for dinner or even use Facebook to let everyone know you want to hang out, but you’re not quite sure what to do. Taking initiative and making the plans will get you that much-needed time with your friends and will remind them that you’re always up to hang out.
Bridge the gap
I love going out on the weekends. Sometimes, however, 48 hours is not enough time to hang out with both groups of friends. So, if I want to go out (this is taking initiative), I’ll gather a few of my sisters and friends who I know will get along and we’ll have a great time. This is a great way to make all of your friends happy by gracing them with your presence, and it’s an opportunity for everyone to meet new people.
Don’t get frustrated
If you’re anything like me, you feel guilty about losing touch with friends. Was I really that busy? Do they not like me anymore? What if we eventually stop talking? Blaming yourself or getting frustrated with your friends is silly. People grow apart. Students get busier as they progress in school. Making time for people who don’t live five steps away is a chore. Growing apart is no one’s fault. The important thing is to make yourself available to your friends. If they invite you to something and you haven’t seen them in a while, make an effort to show up. If you can’t, make it obvious that you are thankful for the invitation. If you’re worried that a friendship is beyond repair, here’s a good rule of thumb: If your interactions aren’t awkward and your friends aren’t rude to you and intentionally ignore you, you’re probably still friends.
Having two groups of friends has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced since coming to college. Sometimes I feel guilty, sometimes left out and, occasionally, angry. However, my relationship with my two different groups of friends is still going strong. Although I don’t see all of my friends as often as I’d like, making a bit of an effort has definitely paid off.
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