In high school you feel like you know everyones business and they know yours. At least that is how it felt at my high school (granted I graduated with 54). In reality, that isn't exactly the case. You take for granted the frequency of being surrounded by your friends and then before you know it you will be nearing the half way point of your sophomore year of college (when did that happen?). And although you don't talk every day and making time in your crazy schedule to share details of your day with friends isn't always easy it doesn't mean that you care any less!
I have always been someone who is super intentional about my relationships with friends and (although this may sound bad) I would rather surround myself with a group of super close friends than have loads of friends I am not as close with. I am not exclusive, just intentional. College has made it so that I am intentional with a new group of friends and I know my home friends are forming just as wonderful friendships but sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own worlds that we forget to bring each other into our separate worlds. Staying in touch may come easy for some people but for most we have to work at keeping up with the details of close friends lives while we are far away.
Last year, one of my best (and oldest) friends Kate and I kept up but not nearly as well as we have this year. A quick overview of our friendship: We met in first grade and participated in a lot of the same activities. Fifth grade I switched schools and so there was a bit of a gap in our friendship until she switched in eighth grade. We still laugh at the fact that she followed me around for the first week of eighth grade as she was figuring out the school and maybe that was what brought us so close. Since then I have always considered her one of my very best friends and it's hard to think of a memory from high school that she isn't a part of. Sometimes if you are lucky enough you find these sort of people who you can spend every waking hour with but never grow tired of and that is the epitome of our friendship. Fast forward a bit and include two crazy summers that put us on opposite sides of the country without seeing each other but we are comforted by the fact that when we get back together it feels as if we were never apart (that to me only happens with incredibly close friends). Our schedules are both crazy busy and we haven't seen each other in over 6 months. Home for us is in the same place but currently she is attending Ole Miss (transferring to Auburn next semester though, she will be closer to me so I can't wait) while I am a few states away at Furman. While it is such a bummer that we haven't gotten to spend much time together recently it has made us much better communicators. Here are some of my best ideas as to why that is the case for Kate and I as well as a few tips to have you rekindling friendships before you know it.
Make the first move (even if it has been a while).
The first step is the one you are probably most reluctant to take and with no reason. The gesture won't go unnoticed and shows your friend how intentional you are and how much you value the friendship. It doesn't have to be anything to formal just a nice thinking of you.
My personal favorite! When you haven't talked in a few weeks there is just no way to say all you need to say through text. So they don't answer? A cheery voicemail updating them or inquiring when you can chat will surely excite them! If you are both super busy phone tag may be a result but when you finally catch each other it will be worth your while!
Write them a note.
I am quite the fan of snail mail. Pretty stationery with a sweet note always make their way to be displayed on my bedside table. I may just be a hoarder in the sense that I save letters people write to me. Especially when a note is a surprise it's hard not to be excited about getting mail from a good friend.
Make plans to see each other (when you will be in the same place).
Thanksgiving break can't come soon enough. I am counting down the hours until Kate and my half year separation comes to an end. We will definitely be frequenting our favorite restaurants, catching up on stories from college, laughing about memories we have, and enjoying each others company. By making plans seeing each other becomes much more of a reality.
Send them a gift just because.
All of my friends say that my love language is giving gifts and I would have to agree with them on that. I just adore treating friends and can't think of a more caring way to show some one they are being missed. Whether it is flowers, cupcakes / macarons, or a busy week survival kit the thought of this warms my heart.
Utilize social media.
While I am not a huge fan of expressing every feeling you've ever experienced on social media surprising a friend with a notification is always fun. My personal favorite is instagram and nothing beats an embarrassing old picture (bunny ears included) of you and a friend to make someone grin.
Text exciting details of your day.
I always end up leaving details out when I am recapping on the phone with friends so by sharing details as they happen I am more likely not to leave anything out. I also am a huge fan of sharing stuff you know they would think is funny with them through text!
Make it a priority to keep in touch with them.
Life happens. I know that but it doesn't take much effort to show someone you care and the small amount of effort usually translates to a large amount of emotional connection due to the smallest of gestures.
And for your own personal enjoyment… Kate and I earlier this year compared to our first grade selves, I'm so happy to say that there are so many photos and treasured memories I have between these two photos as well! Even though in my Santa sweater my expression looks fake, Kate never fails to put a smile on my face!
The benefits of catching up with friends are endless. Last Friday night I was on the phone with Kate in Starbucks for over an hour and I hung up the phone so happy and refreshed even though I knew the rest of my night was going to be spent studying. Although we talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly I was in such a cheerful mood just because I had heard from her! The same can be said about when I shoot some of my other best friends from high school a text. I know it makes my day to hear from them and reaching out to them is such a small easy gesture that can also be overlooked in the midst of tests and assignments. I challenge each of you today to reach out to a friend or family member that you may not have talked to in a while and send them a happy hello. It will leave you feeling rejuvenated and is sure to brighten their day!