Summers in college are so weird. Some people are home, others are out of town, and others are out of the country! Everyone has different schedules, routines, and priorities. As if being apart from friends during the school year wasn’t enough as it is, now adding a new summer agenda and being separated from school friends adds to the struggle of keeping in touch! Luckily, technology and some old-school style has made for some pretty fun ways to stay in touch with your favorite people.
- I know this doesn’t sound very cute or very hip, but e-mail is an awesome way to stay in touch with everyone! I’ve started making weekly sort-of newsletters for my friends—I’ll include a recap of my week at the office from my internship, an embarrassing moment or two, an occasional recap of the week’s episode of The Bachelorette (guilty pleasure,) a link to a blog or video I loved, and then I include the weather for whatever cities the recipients are in. So few people use email these days that it’s time to give it a fun makeover and be creative.
- Discovering the Postale app was one of the greatest things to ever happen to me in a Starbucks. It was the free app of the week one week, and I’m obsessed! You can create virtual postcards using your own pictures, or you can even design your own physical postcard to print and mail! Who doesn’t love a good retro-take on an Instagram? You can also sync it to your social media accounts to keep everyone on your radar in the loop.
- That being said, actual Postcards make for a fun surprise when your friends go to the mailbox. If you’re on vacation, the cheapest souvenir you could buy is a postcard. It’s the perfect combination of keeping in touch, snail-mail, and a little piece of wherever you are on vacation to share! People like to put them on their bulletin boards, fridges, or keepsake boxes. A $2.50 well spent, right?
- I like to do this for myself to keep track of daily happenings, but a line a day compiled into one long recap of a week, trip, or month is a really cool way to relive routines and happenings with friends. Whether you write it on notebook paper and put two sentences about what you did or what happened, or you print out a calendar outline and fill it in, it’s such a fun recap for both yourself and your best friends. It can also connect some dots that are often missing between instagrams, tweets, and Facebook posts.
- Routine Google+ Hangouts have gone under the radar long enough. What’s better than a regular weekly group vid chat with your girls? Make Sunday night from 7:30-8:30 a habit, that way everyone can share weekend happenings, weekly recaps, and have way too much fun with the hat/prop/sound effects available. Not to mention, it’s F-R-E-E! Schedule it into your brand new school year agenda book and make it a (Google+) date!
- Little thoughts go a long way. A random “Hi, hope today’s as wonderful as you are!” text goes a long way! It seems silly and small, but what a great way to start the day! You’ve got your long-distance friends by your side and a little piece of free happiness to kick off a busy day.
- Everyone loves surprises. Maybe you saw a cute pair of earrings or won a coozie at trivia night, any little package that arrives at your friend’s house/dorm/apartment is sure to make their day. Even if all you put with it is “Hey girl hey! Miss you!” written on a post-it, it shows that you’ve been thinking of them and wanted them to have a little piece of you with them. What’s better than repping your friends’ schools/surprise goodies?
- Perhaps the most idolized, classic method of communication: the hand-written letter. I love getting mail—it’s so exciting to actually have a thoughtful note in my mailbox, rather than just bills and catalogs. It takes time and effort to write a genuine note, plus money to send it—it shows that you took time out of a hectic schedule to share some thoughts, memories, or funny moments from your day-to-day scene. Plus, there’s just something so fun and peaceful about going into a Papyrus store or the paper section at Target and getting all new notecards. (Or maybe that’s just peaceful and fun to me?) It’s a small gesture that goes a long way. I’d also suggest searching Pinterest for ideas—so many different calligraphy ideas, cute holiday mailing ideas, and little things to mix up the daily Snapchat.
While I am thankful for all of the social media and quick ways to connect with friends near and far, there is just something so much more thoughtful and exciting about mixing things up and straying from the easy Facebook message. One of the hardest things about going to school far away from home and interning in a different city is keeping in touch with everyone, and making sure my closest friends know that I’m thinking of them, even when it seems like we all have our own lives now. A little bit of creativity & effort will go a long way!
What are your favorite ways to successfully unplug? Tweet us @UChic with your thoughts or leave us a comment below! Want more inspiration? Visit UChic on Facebook.