Talking Points

School and university friends

How to stay connected with school friends at university

You may very well have built up a new group of friends at university but the chances are you’re still missing your friends from home — whether they’re still at home or off studying at another uni. After all, you have probably known them for years and spent most of your formative years with them. They’re your original squad!

It can be hard to be living so far away from those you love spending time with, and sporadic phone calls and the odd text message just don’t cut it. So, how can you keep your friendships alive while you live so far apart? Follow our simple tips below!

Set up a social media group

Friends on social media

If you have a group of school friends, rather than individual friends, a group chat is a great idea — whether that’s a WhatsApp group, a Facebook group or even a group email. This way, nobody feels like they’re missing out because you all see all of the messages. On the other hand, if you’re an introvert you may feel overwhelmed with the constant messages! Find what works for you and your mates.

Visit each other

You’ll no doubt be returning home for the holidays, however there can be a long time between uni breaks which means you won’t see your friends back home for months at a time. Why not plan in a couple of visits and trips to meet up with friends from home in term time? Meet them in the middle and have a night out in a new town or city together, or take it in turns to visit each other in your student digs. The bonus to the latter is you get to meet their new uni friends and put a face to the names you’ll be hearing lots about.

Choose an annual date to meet

Group of friends having fun

One way to guarantee seeing your school or college friends at least once per year is to all agree on one date of the year that you will spend together. A date over Christmas could be a good idea, as you’ll all be home from your various university towns to visit your families. Bank holidays are another good option as there won’t be any lectures. Whatever date you decide on, stick to it!

Write them a letter

This might seem old-fashioned, but many studies have found that people appreciate the time and effort taken for someone to send them a letter far more than they do a quick email. A message written in your handwriting is far more personal, too. So, put pen to paper today and surprise your best friends with a letter. Don’t make your letter too long, as you’ll put pressure on the recipient to write loads too, and possibly even put them off replying — don’t just write two sentences either though!

Share a music playlist or set up a book club

Book club with friends

If you bond over music, what better way to keep connected with a friend back home than with a shared playlist? You can both add your new favourite tunes as the year progresses, keeping up with what your friend is enjoying while offering your own recommendations at the same time. If books are more your bag, set up a book club between you and your friends — then you can read the same book at the same time and discuss it afterwards.

If you’re missing home, read our How to cope with homesickness at university blog post.

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