Maintaining Friendships after High School

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  1. High school friendships are notorious for being just that- high school only friendships. Many people lose their friendships with their high school friends as soon as they arrive in the adult world of college, where they are too busy moving on to look back at the people they spent their high school careers with. Some aren't nearly as ready to leave everything behind. However, if they are anything like me, they don't know how to actually preserve these friendships. Here are three tips on how to keep high school relationships behind.

  2. 1. Keep a line of communication open

  3. With today's technology, it's a lot easier to keep in touch than it was even a few decades ago; take advantage of that!
  4. Leave a chat open with your friends on iMessage, Whatsapp, LINE, or any other messaging app. And don't just text each other once in awhile-- tell about the little things in life as well, like the funny kid in one of your class or new band you're obsessed with. You don't have to text your friends on a daily basis, but do try to chat more than once a month.
  5. Try to vary the texting with phone calls and video chats as well. Messaging does seem to lack a genuine or sincere quality that comes with speaking someone face to face, or even hearing their voice. It's hard to imagine a real person behind the three dots on your phone, even if you know them well.
  6. If you leave a busy lifestyle, calling may be the way to go.
  7. Apps like Skype and Facetime have made video chats a popular option for people with family and friends across the world. Video chats allow for face-to-face communication even if you are hundreds of miles apart. Body language is very important in relationships and conversations; video chats lets you read the body language and the tone of voice without actually having to be there. Especially for those who find it hard to maintain long distance friendships, video calls give a personal touch to an otherwise bland conversation.
  8. There are a lot of advantages to using your phones for what they were originally designed for. It doesn't require your undivided attention like texting or video chats do; you have to at least one hand to text and the whole point of video chats is to be able to see the person's face. You can easily talk to your friend on the phone while doing your chores or walking home from school/work. Calling is an easy way to squeeze in a chat with your friend into your daily schedule. In addition, there's something nice about hearing the voice of someone you care about. It makes the relationship more real and the conversation more interesting because you can add your tone of voice, something not available in texting.
  9. We all know that you spend all your free time on social media anyways. Why not use it to keep in touch with your friends and family?
  10. A popular topic for many articles is the evils of social media-- well, I'm here to tell you the opposite. Apps like Instagram and Twitter allows you share your photos, memories, and thoughts to world. Letting people know what's going on in your day-to-day life establishes a personal connection without having to be there physically.
  11. 2. Make new memories whenever possible

  12. Friendships are based on common experiences-- however, it can't be based entirely on the past. But how do you go about creating new memories with friends that live a thousand miles away?
  13. One option is to meet for certain activities you both have an interest in, like festivals, concerts, or conventions. For example, if you both want to attend the Color Run, but you go to Appalachian State and your friend goes to UNC Wilmington, you can both meet halfway and run together in Raleigh.
  14. Some people share the same training schedule for marathons that they will run together, even if they don't live anywhere near each other.
  15. Sometimes we don't have the time, money, or energy to meet in one place to do something together. Here's when technology comes back into play. Some ideas include watching a movie at the same time but in different places- sites like Gaze (letsgaze.com/#/) makes this easier; having a long distance book club and talking about the book you read over text or calls; or sharing the same workout so you can both feel the same pain.
  16. If you happen to have the resources, go on vacations together, such as backpacking through Europe or a road trip of the Eastern United States. These new memories will give you something else to talk about over calls or messaging, as well as strengthen your relationships.
  17. 3. Actually put work into the relationship

  18. You would think that is a no-brainier, but no one actually follows this advice. Friendship is like a flower; you have to water it, put in the sun, maybe even feed it Miracle-Gro to keep it thriving. Any long-distance relationship means that you will have to work a little more to get the same result you would get if you lived in the same town.
  19. Schedule your video or phone calls and don't you dare miss it unless you have a good reason to. Organizing plans with someone else will make you feel more entitled to actually meet them and guiltier if you don't. If it's becoming too tedious though, too much like work, try to take a short break from communicating. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Another option would be to actually meet up in person, maybe it would rekindle a dying friendship.
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