By Ali Evers
Everyone who has ever moved abroad knows that long distance relationships are hard to maintain. For those of us whose idea of “bae” is a plate of food, this probably means your most important LDR is with your best friend. Moving across the country or globe is super exciting but you can’t just leave your relationship to chance, you’ve gotta water the heck out of your garden to make sure the flowers grow (ok, weird metaphor maybe, but you get the point). Here are some things you can do to keep that garden blooming despite the miles.
Video-calling! I cannot emphasize this one enough—and it’s is probably the most obvious. Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, whatever floats your goat, USE IT! This is your lifeline to the outside world and the absolute best way to not forget what your friend’s face looks like (hopefully that doesn’t actually happen). Really, FaceTime is the real MVP of your study abroading. Not only do you get to see her face but you get to hear about all of the gory details of her life, just like you would if you were there in person. And that embarrassing thing you did on a date? She gets to hear about that also and laugh with you.
Regular calling/texting: Long distance requires a lot of communication, so any way that keeps you in contact, I am going to recommend to you. Again, she wants to hear from you and vice versa so never let the phone hang dry.
Schedule appointments: This sounds silly. I have to schedule an appointment with my best friend? As in pencil her into my schedule? Just a simple, “hey let’s talk tomorrow night”—that’s all you gotta do. If you aren’t on the same page and with time zones and busy schedules, it’s really easy to fall way too far behind and feel overwhelmed and exploding with juicy stories if you wait too long.
Nicknames: You are about to have a completely new set of friends and your bestie who is worlds away is going to need help to remember who is who for your stories’ sake. Use nicknames! The boy who loves Crossfit—his name is now Crossfit. It keeps all your ducks in a row and makes story telling sooo much easier.
Snapchat: I’m assuming you might get the idea that seeing each other’s faces as much as humanly possible is never a bad thing, especially when it’s your best friend and she can appreciate you in all of your capacities. You can also give her more of an insight into what your new life is like. Show her your new library! Your new teacher, your new cafeteria, the hot guy in your class! (That one might be borderline creepy). Places that are not so conducive to a Skype call might work better in the form of a 3 second photo (or 10 if you’re feeling super spicy).
Photos: I know you’re thinking you have no new material with your bestie to work with from your Insta, but you’re just not trying hard enough. If you don’t know what Photoshop is, now is the time to learn! Find a pic of her that she looks smashing in and start using that picture as a base to crop her into all of your new pictures and voila! She’s practically at the EIFFEL TOWER WITH YOU! And she will appreciate the small gestures to let her know that amidst all of the new action going on in your life, you still miss the crap out of her.
THE ART OF LETTER WRITING IS NOT DEAD. I did all caps for emphasis. Write her letters! C’mon, who doesn’t love getting a handwritten note in the mail. If you say you don’t then we all know who the Pinocchio is in this story. Getting a handwritten letter is just another way to show you care, and she will be sure to appreciate it. And she’ll also feel appreciated because you took the time to actually send it, because we all know it’s not the actual letter writing that is the problem, it’s just that post offices always seem so far away and getting there is such a pain in the butt so we sit on that letter for a good while before working our way to send it.
Do NOT neglect her on social media. You can’t just stop liking her content now that you’re away. Now that her sidekick has gone to the other side of the world she is going to need your social media support now more than ever. That dynamic duo that everyone seems to eat up has now become a solo artist and she still needs you to be her number one fan. Yes, I know you will be busy; catch up in one sitting if you need to! Those 10 likes in a row on Insta won’t go unnoticed!
This one is only if you get really really lucky, but CONVINCE HER TO VISIT YOU. Pull out all the tricks in the book. Your new life has become one that is so unfamiliar to your life at home and you want to be able to show your new world to the girl who knows your old world. The best and the absolute number one way will be to get her to come visit you. You can start a countdown, spend endless hours together planning what to do when she comes, and the friendship bubble will almost burst based off how big it becomes!
And then of course, if she can’t visit, you start a countdown for when you DO return home and you build up so much anticipation until you explode and when you get home, you get to watch stupid TV and drink wine and talk about everything under the sun and it’s almost like you never even left in the first place.
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