How to Keep a Long Distance Friendship

Sage Guzman, Staff Writer

Up until last year, I had never lived in any one place for more than two years because of my dad’s work requirements.  That means AHS is my sixth school in the past eight years. Because of this, I’ve had to say goodbye to many friends close and dear to me. I’m the kind of person who forms extremely close bonds with my friends–they are more like family to me. So it was always unimaginably difficult to leave. At the time, it seems like the end of the world (and your friendship for that matter). Although with some commitment, genuine friendships can absolutely survive and thrive!

        Going from seeing someone everyday to barely seeing them at all is no doubt a drastic change. It can affect your familiarity with the other person because you no longer receive constant news on every aspect of each other’s lives. While you’re apart, you continue to grow. If you are unaware of each other’s lives, you begin to drift. Using FaceTime or even just quick texts to update your friend about your day is crucial to staying close. When I moved away from my best friend in Chicago, she and I struggled a lot with this. We’re both busy people with big families, so for a while we felt disconnected. It doesn’t have to be a long or constant conversation. Just letting each other know about major events can keep that connection, so that you still feel like you’re part of their lives and vice versa. Luckily, we set up a schedule: twice a week, we text updates and little check-ins, and on Saturdays we have a longer spanning FaceTime call! If you skip a week or get too caught up in life to update as frequently, no biggie! Just keep each other in the loop somehow.

    Another thing that I am fortunate enough to be able to do is visit a couple times a year! Since I was born in Chicago, all of my family lives there. So, we go back every Christmas, and sometimes during the summer. Everytime we do, I make sure to designate days where it’s all about seeing and catching up with my friends. We go to the mall and have sleepovers, and during winter, we go ice skating! Doing uncomplicated, pressure-free activities helps focus on spend actual quality time with my friends. Though it’s been almost three years since I left my Chicago friends, we are all still extremely close. And I look forward to spending time with them way more than I did before, because it is so rare. In a way, it makes the time we do spend together that more special. We really make the most of whatever we do together, no matter what it is.

 With a little bit of effort, your friendships will be just fine. Not to say it won’t be hard at times. Being far away from the people you are close to can be lonely. Luckily, if you care enough about those people, it will all be worth it. If you guys have a close enough relationship, you can leave for years, and when you come back it will feel like you never left in the first place!