Off to uni? Here are 5 ways I stay in touch with my friends

17 Jul 2019
By Alicja W., Student at De Montfort University

Some people say the friends you make in Freshers’ week become friends for life. That wasn’t the case for me. I ended up sharing a flat with people I just didn’t get along with.

But staying in touch with friends from home made me feel less alone and better able to make friends with other people at uni.

Staying in touch with friends from home made me feel less alone.

Here's how you can stay in touch and keep the bond strong.

1) Make a ‘when you miss me’ box

Do you have that one best friend, the sister from another mister, that you can’t live without? I did, and I know it can be difficult having to part ways at the end of sixth form and move to the other side of the country.

My bestie and I agreed to make each other ‘when I miss you’ boxes to take to uni with us, made to be opened when we feel lonely or down. Mine included pictures of fun times we’ve had, a few handwritten letters, drawings, and things that reminded us of our little inside jokes. There may have been a few chocolate bars in there as well.

It helped us remember the adventures we’ve had together, and that moving somewhere else doesn’t mean we have to lose touch with each other.

2) Invite them to come and stay

Although I only moved a train ride away from my hometown, I felt uneasy inviting my school friends over at first. Some of them ended up not getting into uni and had to stay in college for another year, and I didn’t want them to feel judged.

Turns out they loved it, especially the chance to use my student discount card. I made them feel welcome by showing them around and explaining how everything works. We ended up going for a night out.

In fact, my friend said she was grateful to see some of student life because it helped her choose the right uni.

3) Catch up over coffee or beer

All friends can be invited out either for a coffee or a beer. And it’s good to remember to see people one-on-one to keep the bond strong.

I’ve got two school friends who I always meet up with for a ‘café crawl’, where we just get caffeinated and high on sugar. It gives us hours to catch up, and we get to stay cosy.

4) Use your holidays to organise a reunion

Rather meet friends in a group? University holidays are long and there’s bound to be at least a few days where you’re all off at the same time. Organise an outing - go to a karaoke bar, a pub, or just the park - and reminisce about being in school.

Don’t be afraid to suggest the idea either. People usually want to reunite, they’re just afraid of being the one to suggest the idea.

5) Create a Facebook group or chat

My friends from school and I decided to keep in touch by posting in a group we had made on facebook, updating each other on our lives, making original memes, and generally having a laugh.

It’s a good way of organising meet ups and making people feel a bit less alone when they’re at uni.

Staying in touch with friends from home made me feel less alone.
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Alicja is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at De Montfort University.