There was a moment that happened at the end of my first semester as a senior in college that I will never forget. Two of my roommates/sorority sisters and I were sitting at Barnes and Noble studying for our finals. At a nearby table, a group of women in their 30’s were catching up over coffee. “That will be us one day.”
That really struck me. One day, I would wake up, and I wouldn’t walk down the hall, passing the rooms of 30 of my sisters. I wouldn’t be able to randomly go craft outside with them on pretty days. I wouldn’t be able to go grab Mexican & Margs after class with my best friend on a random Thursday night anymore. The majority of us would be leaving our college town, some of us moving further away than others. (One of the above mentioned roommates moved to New York City and is working at her dream job! The other is living in Nashville, four hours away, and planning a wedding!)
Living further away from my friends than I was used to while transitioning to the “real world” was a lot to take in at first. If you’re still adjusting or about to be adjusting (Ahh, congrats on graduation!!!), I hope that you will find my tips to be helpful.
1. Realize that things will be different. The sooner that you accept this, the better. (And I say that because it took me a long time to accept it.) Accept that your friends in college won’t understand your schedule or your responsibilities. After going to work very exhausted one morning because I met my friends for dinner at 7 and then drove an hour home, I set some ground rules for myself.
2. Remember important days. I try really hard to be a thoughtful person, but sometimes I forget things. That’s where a planner comes in handy! Write down your best friends’ birthdays and make a little note to remind yourself to wish them good luck before an interview or ask how a date went. It may seem like the most insincere thing in the world, but when you have a chaotic day at work where you’re so overwhelmed that you can’t remember how to spell your name, you’ll be glad that you did!
3. Know that out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. I don’t talk to all of my best friends every day, and I don’t see my friends that live locally as much as I would like to. But I think it’s important to realize that just because you don’t see someone much or speak to them every day doesn’t mean that the friendship should be abandoned!
4. Talk when you can. This one plays off of #3 – Out of all of the people I consider to be close friends, there’s really only one friend that I talk to consistently throughout the day, every day. Communicating 24/7 isn’t necessary to keep a friendship alive!
5. Plan time together. When my friend A comes into town to see her boyfriend, she always lets me know a few weekends ahead of time so that we can both block off a little bit of time for each other! Planning something in advance gives you something to look forward to and is helpful when coordinating multiple crazy schedules.
6. Snail mail + bestie boxes are you friend. While I’m so thankful for technology, I love snail mail! If you have a friend on your mind, why not drop a card in the mail for her? It will be such a pleasant surprise in a mailbox full of bills and junk mail! I was introduced to the Bestie Box concept on Instagram. Friends choose a schedule (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and mail each other gift boxes, similar to a subscription service! My “Bestie Box” suggestions would be dollar aisle goodies, nail polish, favorite snacks, something you’ll need next time y’all see each other, or things you got in a subscription service that you’ll never use. (The last one sounds kind of cheap, but one of my co-workers is always sharing her ipsy & Birchboxes with us, because she doesn’t like to see things go to waste! Everyone wins!!)
Now I want to hear from y’all – How do you maintain friendships after graduation? Do you and any of your friends have traditions?
P.S. – I apologize that I haven’t been engaging as much as I usually do… studying for the LSAT has me spread super thin/exhausted/crying every night/is ruining my life. Thanks for all of the encouragement and for bearing with me! Xo <3 p="">