Features

The long-distance friendship

It is a truth universally acknowledged that long distance relationships are not for the faint hearted. Long-winded phone calls, emotional Skype chats and teary goodbyes; we’ve all been there.

Throwing yourself into a new life at university whilst maintaining relationships at home is never easy, but what is there to be said about keeping in touch with your old friends? What happens when the person who has been there for 18 years suddenly slips off the radar?

Amidst the chaos of friend-making, campus-navigating and freshers’ week initiations, it is to be expected that regular contact with friends from home becomes scarce.

Panic arises when you realise the last text you sent is dated four weeks ago and the non-existent reply speak volumes. Does this make you a bad person? Should you feel offended by their neglect? The answer to both is a big resounding no.

The main thing to note about friendship is that it is mutual. If you are terrible at keeping in contact, the likelihood is they are just as bad as you. Nevertheless, there are a few things you should consider.

Skype is genius. Free, easy and flexible, it facilitates everything from the epic mid-term debrief to twenty minute catch-ups. What’s more, it doesn’t have to be a scheduled event. If you are both struggling to make time in your busy schedules, why not Skype whilst getting ready for a night out?

It is likely that you have friends at universities all over the country. Take advantage of the free accommodation and plan a visit. Get to know their new friends and introduce them to yours. If you are familiar with their university life, it will seem less distant from your own.

Finally, if the road trips don’t happen, and if your social bubble proves to be impenetrable, make the most of the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. Arrange a big meet-up and you will find yourselves reunited with those who signed your fracture-cast in year four. With an entire month to yourselves, you’ll easily catch up on what’s been missed.

University is a new chapter in your life, but it doesn’t have to be a separate book. You will find that there are times when you don’t speak with friends from home, and you may not see them for a whole term, but when you do finally catch up, you will pick up exactly where you left off. Those friendships worth holding onto will stand the test of time, and they’ll certainly be the friends worth keeping.

09/10/2012

About Author

Ellen Thornton



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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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