Did you just return from break and fail to recognize your friend? For some reason he has an eagle tattoo on his calf and his hair now surpasses his shoulders. Don’t be that guy who doesn’t bother keeping in touch over the course of long summer or winter breaks. Those few Facebook messages don’t really count. Here are some ways to maintain friendships over school breaks so you aren’t forced to find new friends every time a new semester rolls around.
1. Play up your friendship
All praise Xbox, PlayStation and online gaming. How else can you keep in touch with your freshman year roommate while shooting at zombie Nazis and screaming at them until 3 in the morning? With Steam coordinating multiplayer games over the Internet, MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft and the increasing popularity of League of Legends, there are so many ways and games to play with your friend. Whether or not you use a mic for gaming, doing something interactive keeps the friendship strong through lonely nights. Unless you kill them for fun in Call of Duty when you’re on the same team…they tend to get upset over that.
2. Be apart, but watch TV together
When the thunderous chords of “Deththeme” blared through my television, I always knew it was Sunday night and time to message by best friend about the new episode of Metalocalypse. Of course, this was before live-tweeting became all the rage, but live-watching with a friend still allows you to continue watching and talking about your television shows together. Hopefully you are in the same time zone…if not, it could get awkward when you keep ruining what happens on Game of Thrones each week.
3. Use concerts as a reason to travel
It can be difficult to warrant driving 340 miles to visit your friend. For some reason, though, if you decide to go to a concert together, it suddenly seems logical to drive halfway across the country to spend the next three days covered in dirt and wearing a flower crown. I would normally never drive to West Chester, PA by my own freewill, but when it meant going to see Andrew W.K. with my friend, I had to be there. It’s okay to validate your visit with the promise of being 100 feet away from your favorite rock star.
4. Send love in material possessions
I’ll be the first to admit to being a cheapskate. If I could get away with it, I would just send a $5 gift in Farmville. Sometimes, though, a little gift for a distant friend goes a long way. You can send random items, like I do, such as a bottle of coffee liqueur, a set of sunglasses or a Tyler the Creator CD. You don’t need big or expensive items to show that you haven’t forgotten about that Blues Brothers inside joke you had last semester.
5. Plan an epic semester
You can do better than Facebook wall posts in terms of keeping in touch with a friend. Unless you’re using those wall posts to share ideas on theme parties, restaurants around campus to try and dorm decoration ideas. Looking ahead to the semester and planning fun things with your friend will keep you close. Who said you couldn’t plan your group Halloween costume in July?
6. Share the latest and greatest music
Everyone loves and needs music suggestions. Make playlists periodically and share with your friend via Spotify or 8tracks. Try different themes: add your favorite songs from a certain genre, make a playlist perfect for an activity (such as sleeping, studying or walking to class), pick songs for a certain mood or just add whatever you’ve been listening to recently. Your friend will appreciate the thought and the new music and will hopefully return the favor, creating even more talking points along the way.
7. Buy a stamp and send a letter
The newest and fastest way to keep in contact with someone who lives far away. You can actually think about what you want to say, rather than blurt it out in conversation. This way, you tend to learn a little more about your friend. If only there was another way to talk directly to a person… sadly, that technology hasn’t been invented yet. And with the new Pony Express it only takes about ten days to send something across the Rocky Mountains.
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