Boarding School Tips: How to Stay in Touch with those at Home

“Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other, gold…” I distinctly remember singing this when I was a Girl Scout in elementary school. It didn’t mean much at the time for me – almost all of my friends were in my class at school, in my dance class, or lived in my neighborhood. I wasn’t facing too many struggles regarding keeping in contact with a wide range of friends.

It becomes a little different when you get older. You start to develop friendships with people further than a five minute walk away, and those friendships mean more, too. It becomes especially complicated if you travel to attend sleepaway camp, boarding school, or college. Suddenly you have new friends who don’t live anywhere near you or know any of your other friends. This can be a challenging experience for many, especially those who are going away to school for the first time for boarding school or college.

I just graduated college, so I’m currently in the process of learning how to keep in contact with friends from my hometown, study abroad program, and college – all while adjusting to life in a new city. I’ve learned how to do this throughout my time in college, so I’m sharing some methods that I use for keeping in touch with friends who don’t live near me.

  1. Video chat dates: For Millennials, this is one of the easiest ways to keep in contact with friends – I’ve even gotten my grandparents to try Facetime! Sometimes it’s hard not seeing your friend’s face for months or years at a time, so seeing them through video chat can make the distance easier.
  2. Send letters: On the opposite end, an old-fashioned letter can be a really thoughtful way to keep in contact with friends. One of my friends lives in California and I live on the East Coast, so we mail each other letters and update each other on our lives. Plus, it’s a nice excuse to buy fun and colorful stationery!
  3. Make plans to see them on breaks: If you have the financial resources, plan a trip to visit them! It’s fun to see your friend’s daily life and get to know their friends and family. It’s also an easy way to travel and see different areas you might not otherwise.
  4. Snapchat/text with updates: When you want to keep in contact but don’t have a ton of time to dedicate, Snapchat, texting, and other messaging services can make you feel like you still have your network of friends with you. Sending pictures of your experiences can make them feel as though they’re there with you!
  5. But … still remember to make and maintain new relationships: Don’t get too caught up in keeping contact with your old friends that you don’t know anyone where you are now! It’s all about balance.


Have you tried any of these tips? Do you have any to add? Let us know in the Comments!

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