Staying In Touch Post Grad

Hello, World.

With graduation a little more than a month behind me, and my move to Virginia about a month ahead of me, I keep thinking about moving from so many people who have grown to be like family. Some of my close friends are going to be returning to SMC to continue their undergrad years, and others will be entering the workforce or beginning a graduate program. It’s hard to fully wrap my head around that fact. I’ll definitely miss having the convenience of living on the same campus as most of my really good friends. However, I’m ready to get to my new stage, and begin the next chapter of my life. I’ve been trying to be more intentional in my ability to stay in contact with people. Though it is superficially easy to stay in touch–Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.- it’s difficult to really engage in meaningful ways with friends that don’t live close. Today, I want to share my top tips for staying in touch when you don’t live in the same place as someone, but want to stay close with! Also, as a general aside, true friends don’t need to talk everyday to stay close. True friends don’t need inseparable contact to stay close to each other. It should be like practically no time is spent apart when you’re finally in the same place.

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  1. Schedule FaceTime Coffee Dates | With virtual “dates” or meetups so easy, I think scheduling time to talk like you would if you were in the same place is important. Try to treat the friendship like there is no distance, and that you still have time for each other. Make a point to have a coffee date that is standing, whether it’s weekly, bi weekly, bi monthly, or monthly. It’s important to be able to catch up, “hangout,” and see each other!
  2. Group Text Updates | When something big happens, send it in a group text.While it’s annoying to have a phone constantly buzzing because of group texts, but it’s also cool to be able to just say, “hey this is what I’ve been up to. How are you all?” See what everyone’s up to, have a quick update. I tell my friends everything when I live near them, there’s no reason it should change when I don’t!
  3. Hand Write a Quick Note | Send along some thoughts in your own handwriting. It’ll show you care, and also is a bit more meaningful than an email or text.
  4. Be Understanding, and Reach Out | Not everyone has time to talk everyday. Chances are you won’t even have time to talk everyday. However, It’s important to remember that people get busy. If you don’t talk for a while, know that it’s non one’s fault, and just try to catch up and be understanding!

How do you stay in touch with friends that live far away?

Truly,
Callie leigh

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Tea Talk: Long Distance Relationships (friends edition)

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Hello, World.

Remember last summer when I wrote a post about long distance relationships? Well, things have changed since then. Almost every couple I wrote about broke up because the distance got to be too much, and people that were close to one of the people in the couple got too intriguing to ignore. It turns out, long distance relationships are harder than I thought. They usually involve a series of quietness, when people are beginning to understand the relationship is hitting a wall, and it continues until the fateful phone call or encounter that ends it all. So, in light of this discovery, I decided to write a post about long distance relationships with FRIENDS. As a college student, I am cursed with spending nine months with my close friends, then having to go home and not see them very much for three months. People can change so much in three short months, but friends are really good at staying close despite the distance.

Friends, and I mean true friends, are able to go months without speaking, and as soon as they’re reunited, they pick up as if no time passed. I realize this sounds cliche, but in all honesty, it is one of the biggest truths I’ve learned in my experience thus far. One of my closest friends from home, Rossy, is the friend who constantly checks in with me to make sure I’m surviving, and she bugs me about when I will be home next (which I greatly appreciate). I love friends who keep in touch, and I’m not so hot on friends that, well, don’t. This year is fairly easy as far as staying in contact with my friends because all but roughly three of them live within walking distance of my residence hall. Next year, however, will be a bit of a difficulty for various reasons.

First, I will be a Resident Advisor on campus, which is time-consuming, and means I will be living in a first year residence hall. I am so excited to hold the position, and I feel so blessed with the opportunity. This position simply means my friends will be a little farther away than normal, though I go to such a small school its not a big deal. Anyway, I will be busier next year, and  I want to make sure I am maintaining my friendships while being the best RA possible.

Second, my best friend on campus, Holly, will be studying abroad in London during Fall Semester, which is completely awesome, but means there will be an ocean between us. In this regard, I have to make sure facetime is always working, and that the art of letter writing is picked back up because I want to make sure we are staying in consistent contact. I’m not sure how it’s going to be not living with her anymore, but I’m excited for her study abroad experience.

Third, a few of my friends are moving off campus, which will signify the first time any of my friends aren’t living on campus with me. It’ll be an interesting adjustment, but I plan to make sure I still go on coffee runs with them between class, or invite them over for dinner on nights I’m not on duty as an RA.

Most people don’t have to figure out how to actively maintain friendships until graduation, when you will not be physically with your friends for extended periods of time. My friends and I have to figure it out halfway through our college career. It is an interesting adjustment, but my roommate and I keep discussing it, and we believe it’ll be the time when we really figure out which bonds are worth working for. I love my friends, but busy schedules and distance can test people more than any written exam in a classroom. I want to make sure I am keeping in contact with them, and hanging with them whenever possible.

I feel long distance friendships are 100 times easier than long distance relationships, but I think both take work on the parts of both people. Friends who truly care about one another never stop putting the work in because the bond is slightly stronger than being in a relationship, or maybe there is just less pressure, I’m not sure. Regardless, friendships are important, and friends make people happiest, so in the next year I want to make sure that distance makes the heart grow fonder! Keep in mind that once college ends, people are going to be leaving for jobs, graduate school, programs, etc., and you want to make sure your bonds are strong enough to withstand the distance. With the amount of technology permeating today’s society there are really no excuses for NOT keeping in contact with the people who are important to you.

“True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.” -anonymous

Truly,
Callie Leigh

Distance makes the heart grow fonder

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One thing I discussed a few posts back was the unsettling feeling that something major changes when someone returns to their hometown after being away at college. The change can be internal or external (or, in some cases, both), existent or nonexistent, but regardless, there is a feeling that something is different. Personally, I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but I think maybe just the experience of going away to school, meeting people from all over, and becoming more myself has made being back home feel a little… off, like something is missing.

Something that is physically missing from my life at the moment is my boyfriend, Mitchell. He lives in Hawaii, and he’s spending the summer there, which is difficult. I will admit: I’m absolutely terrible with long distance anything. I don’t usually believe in long distance relationships, and I personally have never really seen the point of them if they are going to last more than a few months. However, I have a friend who is currently doing long-distance with her boyfriend, who she met in Germany, and they’re making long-distance seem like a breeze (which it probably isn’t a breeze everyday, but they give me hope that it can work). I also recently realized that my two best friends are currently in long distance relationships, and are both really happy. Apparently, distance isn’t so bad!

But anyway, when I first got home, I ran into the friend dating a German, and she asked me how Mitchell and I were doing and if I missed him, the usual questions. I told her I missed him, and she replied with something like, “I wouldn’t recommend the distance thing, but we do things for the people we love.” I figured this summed it up better than I currently can. The thing is, once in college, people have to remember you spend nine months on campus and three at home, working somewhere, interning, etc. So, while summers apart may be less than ideal, I have to remind myself daily that it’s only three months before I get to spend another nine with Mitchell. I also have to remind myself that confidence in the relationship makes the distance easier to handle. People who are doing long distance cannot have lukewarm feelings; otherwise it’ll basically implode before either person makes a trip to visit the other.

Long-distance, in my opinion, can only work if both people are really committed to one another, and have expressed that neither person is going anywhere. If you’re confident in the relationship, it’s much more likely that you won’t be calling the person 24/7 to make sure they’re not cheating, make sure they still love you, etc. While I may joke about Mitchell falling in love with an island girl while he’s home, I know that he’s loyal and trustworthy, and that at the end of the day, he’ll be getting off a plane in Sacramento August 10th to spend a week with me before we head back to Saint Mary’s.

Even relationships where both people are in the same city at all times require effort, care, and a little something extra. But the difference with these relationships and those that have distance (and I mean literal distance) between two people is that the people in the same city can walk down a street holding hands, go on a date whenever they want, and hug or kiss goodnight, while people who are long distance can only express these gestures in words. One of the first movies Mitchell and I ever watched was Going the Distance with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. Haven’t seen it? You should! It’s about two people who meet in a common city and end up one opposite ends of the country, but attempt to maintain their relationship. So, while Mitchell and I have only 3 months apart, maybe that movie foreshadowed what we would go through during those months apart. And while it may be hard, if two people truly care for one another, they’ll make distance work somehow, some way.

Truly,

Callie Leigh