Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 24, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home LifestyleCulture Degrees Apart, Hearts Together: A Guide to Long-Distance Friendships at University

Degrees Apart, Hearts Together: A Guide to Long-Distance Friendships at University

Navigating university life when you are away from your friends from home can be tough, but Arts & Lit Editor, Maddie Conlan, shares the best ways in which you can keep these friendships alive.
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Image: Melissa Askew via Unsplash

The unfortunate truth of High School friendships is that some of them won’t last the rest of your lifetime. At 18 years old this may feel like the end of the world. It’s isolating and scary and losing friendships that couldn’t handle a breach of proximity hurts. Yet, the relationships that survive from childhood to early adulthood, and beyond, are some of the most treasured relationships in the world. These relationships that you maintain will become even more important to you.

As adults, who don’t see their friends every day at lunch, the shape of your friendships is going to change. You will have to put more effort into speaking with your friends from home while also putting effort into making friends at university. Don’t be scared if you get caught up in life and don’t talk to your friends from home every day. If they’re people who really care about you, you’ll be able to pick up from where you left off even if it’s been a week or a month.

The relationships that survive from childhood to early adulthood, and beyond, are some of the most treasured relationships in the world.

One of my favourite ways to maintain friendships and catch up on all the important life events of my friends from home is in the form of a cheesy PowerPoint night. We create a quiz of our lives and all the stupid, fun, and sometimes sad events that we’ve gone through recently. We choose a Friday or Saturday night when we’re all free and sit on a Facetime call and get drunk together while talking about our lives. Though we don’t talk all day every day, as that’s not sustainable in any friendship, our monthly, or bi-monthly, catch-ups remind me of all the reasons we’ve stayed friends for years.

Another helpful tip is to try and organise to see your friends at their universities or make the conscious effort to see them at home during reading weeks and Christmas breaks. My best friends and I have a standing date every Sunday night at the local pub quiz when we’re all home. We also make sure to visit each other on birthday weekends when we can, just to show them how much we appreciate them. With the cost-of-living crisis and the extortionate train fares in-person visits aren’t always viable, so make sure you make the effort to send a card or a present on birthdays to tell your friends that you’re still thinking of them.

Learning how to shape and manage your adult friendships is hard. The learning curve on how to maintain a meaningful relationship with work, life, and University stress is tough, and I can’t sugar-coat it, you will lose relationships you treasured. By putting in effort and setting up designated times to see each other you can cultivate relationships that will bloom into ones that will stay with you for decades.

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