long-distance relationships: BFF edition

It’s that time of year again: graduation. Every May, the dreaded bittersweet last moments in college towns give way to first steps in the real world for many seniors. It seems like that was E and I just yesterday…but can you believe three years has passed?

I think I speak for both of us when I say the biggest transition (other than not being able to take mid-day naps) is adjusting to the inevitable fact that your friends aren’t going to live next door anymore. Friends that used to be 30 seconds away are in different cities, on different coasts and in different time zones.

E and I at graduation, circa 2013 (eek!)

E and I at graduation, circa 2013 (eek!)

Annual reunion trip in 2015 <3

Annual reunion trip in 2015 <3

Our friend group spread far and wide after graduation – a tight-knit group that had lived together for three years is now a plane ride away from one another. One thing we can say, though, is that after three years, we’re still best friends and stay involved in each other’s lives on a daily basis.

Staying friends and supporting your BFFs from across the country takes time and effort, but it’s always worth it. Co-authoring a blog is one way to make sure you stay in touch (hint hint), but if that’s not your scene, here are our best tips to stay in touch with long-distance BFFs:

1. Make Gchat your new best friend – Gchat is the lifeblood of young professionals everywhere. Think of it as AIM, but for grown-ups (and without cute Dashboard quotes in your profile). I use the Hangouts extension for Chrome, allowing my chats to stay docked at the bottom of my screen. Emily and I use this as our primary way of communicating – it’s a great way to stay in touch as everyone is usually in front of a computer screen all day!

2. Set a standing phone date – Yes, young people, even we have to pick up the phone and call people sometimes to keep in touch. It can be hard to connect online with friends who don’t have a desk job or are in different time zones, so pick a time that works for both of you and set an hour out of your day to catch up. The most important part? Sticking with it! Things come up from time to time, but be sure to make your friends a priority before canceling to catch another episode of Scandal.

3. Snail mail – Sending small, thoughtful gifts can be one of the best ways to let your friends know you’re thinking about them. Flowers are a great way to celebrate life events (like graduations – proud of you Pharmacist Gin!) and can be affordable if you find a coupon from Gilt or Groupon. You can even split amongst friends to make it cheaper – ain’t nobody got $50 to spend on a bouquet, am I right? Another fave? Cookie delivery. Whether it’s a breakup, a promotion or, let’s be real, any day of the week because cookies are everything, treats are always welcome and a sweet (pun intended) way to appreciate your friends.

4. Travel! – My one rule about missing long-distance friends is to try to plan the next time you’re going to see them before you separate from the last trip. I find this helps with the sadness, as you can say “see you in a few weeks/months!” instead of “not sure when I’ll see you again.” I recently went to visit E in LA (more on that later) and our goodbye was made less upsetting by knowing I’ll see her in Atlanta for Labor Day! One of the benefits of the real world is real money and even though we don’t have a lot of it, travel to see friends has been one of the best things to spend it on so far. I recommend searching on sites like Kayak or Expedia and subscribe to the emails from your favorite airline to see their deals.

No matter the way, a little effort goes a long way to keep in touch with those who will always have your back. What are some of your favorite ways to stay in touch with long-distance friends? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @highlandandrose!