Make New Friends AND Keep the Old: A Lesson in Long Distance Friendships

As the summer draws to a close and the school year seems to approach at record speeds, many of you will be saying "goodbye" to friends you may have known all your life. Unfortunately, they did not choose to go to the greatest school on earth. Don't hold it against them, not everyone is as smart as you are. We love them anyway! And this means we don't want to lose these friendships. "But how in the world am I supposed to maintain these friendships while I am trying to meet new people? While I am trying to manage all these new classes? While I am getting involved in all the clubs and organizations that IU has to offer?" <<< This is you asking me this. Those are very good questions! I will tell you right now, it isn't always easy but it is definitely do-able. Here are some tips that I hope will help you and your friends stay close even if it feels like you are light years away! (P.S. All of these pictures are of my friends from home. We went to the same grade school and high school so we have known each other for about 12 years now. We've all managed to stay in touch and so can you!)

SKYPE! This has got to be one of the best inventions since clip on ties! Set up Skype dates with your friends from back home. It can be something that you all do on a weekly basis or a more "as-needed" kind of thing. I love to Skype my friends while they are away at school too because I get to see their dorm room, meet their roommates, all that good stuff.

TEXTING! Texting is a quick way to tell someone something that just popped into your head that made you think them. I do this all the time! If a professor says something hilarious or I'm reminded of an inside joke my friends and I have I love to send them a text so that we can still share that moment even though we aren't together. I would like to lump phone calls in this category too. Phone calls are also wonderful! If you are walking to class and have a free second, give your friend a call. I bet it makes their day!

VISIT! This is so much fun! It is great to see what your friend's campus is like. It is cool to see where they go to class and what they do in their free time. If they come visit you, it's also a lot of fun to show off our campus! Take them downtown, give them a feel for what Bloomington is like! Also, nothing beats that "together again" feeling that you only get when you are, in fact, together again!

One thing you have to remember is that you and your friends need to have your own college experience. At first, you may hear from each other a lot because you are going through similar transitions and haven't found those new people that you can relate to and share these things with. You all still rely on each other. Eventually though, you will start to get busy. You will make new friends and it may just happen that the texts become less frequent or the Skype dates get farther and farther apart. That is ok! This just means you all will have more to talk about when you finally do get a chance to catch up. Also, have faith in those friendships. They didn't form over night which means they also won't disappear over night. If you really want to maintain those friendships, you will! Simple as that!

About The Author
Linden SpaldingSpeech and Hearing Sciences Class of 2014

Hi there! My name is Linden Spalding. I am a Senior from New Albany, IN and I am studying Speech and Hearing Sciences here at Indiana University. I work as a Resident Assistant in one of the residence halls on campus and I absolutely love my job! I also serve as a Hoosier Guide which is part of our Student Ambassador program through the Office of Admissions. I show prospective students and their families the campus and tell them why I love IU! This summer, I also worked for New Student Orientation as a Student Coordinator. It was so much fun working with the OTeam and getting to meet all the new students and their families! Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you! Go Hoosiers!