Keeping in Touch...
At school it was so simple, as friends you'd have classes together, you'd go to lunch in between classes and plan what you'd do on the weekend - even if it was only Monday, and you'd visit each others dorms to do "homework" together. Keeping in touch with friends was easy. Fast forward to entering the working world, working a full day job, maintaining an apartment, trying to stay in shape, scheduling after work activities--where does one find the time for friends during all of this?
I'm very much to blame when it comes to losing friends due to not keeping in touch. I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened with a few friends I'd had, I just know that over time I'd come to the realization that we were no longer really friends. I'd read about someone moving cross country on my facebook news feed, or receive an invitation to a baby shower for a friend I hadn't seen in years--and think to myself, "when was the last time I spoke with them?" Friendship is definitely a two-way street, but someone has to make the first move. And, with all the technology we have at our fingertips today--really, what excuse is there? We don't need to arrange an hour tea visit in order to catch up anymore.
There are so many ways to stay in touch these days--and far less excuses not to, here are a few ideas (many of which you already know) to reassure you there are no reasons to lose touch!:
Dialing a Number: That thing plugged into your wall at home that rings? It can also be used to dial the number of a friend. Don't own one of those? What about the Iphone you so religiously use to text on? A quick call to say "Hi, how are you?" is as simple as 1-2-3.
Physically Visiting: When last did you hop into your car and make the effort to meet up with a friend? Or watch a movie together instead of downloading it off the Internet? Worried that you won't have time for that AND whatever else you're meant to be doing? Schedule the two together--suggest a jog with your friend, or do the grocery shopping together and have a coffee afterwards. Just make a plan and DO it.
Sending a Text: Send a text. Even if it's just to say "Hope you're having a great day," or "Thinking of you--it's been ages since we last caught up." A short text goes a long way to letting someone else know that you've taken the time to think about them.
Using Social Media: Ok, so this isn't the ideal way to keep any friendship going--but at least you're trying, right? What's so great about Social Media is that you have the opportunity to reconnect with long lost friends from Primary School, Girl Scouts, College, etc. I love Facebook and use it often to keep in touch with friends from school.
Typing an E-mail: Instead of forwarding jokes to all your friends whenever a new one hits your inbox, send a quick e-mail instead. It doesn't have to be an essay, just a quick "Hi, just checking in to see how you are", or "Let's meet up--it's been forever!" is as good a place to start as any.
Writing a Letter: I know, who sends letters via the post anymore, right? Don't you remember the anticipation of waiting for a letter in the mail? I remember eagerly checking our postbox every day for my friends letters to arrive. There's just something so special about receiving a physical letter--something sending an e-mail can never live up to, and anyone who says they wouldn't be in AWE if their best friend 2 states away sent you a letter is a liar.
Chatting Online: Whoever invented Skype, Facebook chat, Google talk or any of the other IM programs out there is a genius. It's a quick and direct way to check in, no matter the distance apart.
Plan Group Get Togethers: An added bonus of having a salary = The ability to travel. Gather up your girlfriends and drive, take a bolt bus, Amtrak or WHATEVER! and plan a weekend in a new city. Host friends at your apartment, or at your family summer house. Send invitations via Facebook way in advance. Sending the invite on Facebook allows all the invitees to discuss the trip on the invite thread and share their excitement about the trip. Plus, who doesn't like a quick get away?
The transition after college is scary enough, don't let losing your college buddies be an added fear. And be reassured, a true friendship always prevails no matter the distance!