Five Ways to Stay Close to Friends at Different Schools

The list of friends I have of who live in different states is starting to get a little too insane.

I’ve always had one or two friends that went to different schools, but as I went into high school and then on to college, the amount of my friends who lived far away from me grew exponentially.

Since I’ve had years to find ways to stay close and not fall out of touch with my besties, I have quite a few techniques up my sleeves.

5 ways to Stay close to Friends at Different Schools | College with Caitlyn

Talk on the Phone

I’m just going to skip over the most obvious way (texting) and go straight to the second most obvious: calling them!

I’m really not a fan of texting, especially not when the person I’m texting is in a different time zone. It makes communicating in real time extremely difficult since you’ll both be doing two totally different things and may have to wait hours for a response. For example, I’m three hours ahead of a lot of my friends, so when I wake up it’s around 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. my time, which means it’s only 3:00 to 6:00 a.m. their time. Basically there’s no way they’re awake yet.

If you try to have a conversation with someone this way, then it may take an hour or two or three to have a conversation that would only like five to ten minutes on the phone. And I know we all have five or ten minutes in our day that we could spare to call a friend.

However, there’s still the issue as to if they don’t pick up, which would have made calling about as effective as texting them, but I’d much rather find a surprise voice mail from a friend than a random text. Sometimes though, I like to spam my friends with tons of text messages at times when I know they can’t get to the phone, so they have something to read and laugh at when they get the time.

Video chat

Now this presents the same issue of having to find a time that works for both of you, but I think it’s 100 percent worth it because seeing someone’s face and their surroundings makes it feel like you’re actually together.

My two preferred ways of video chatting are FaceTime and Rabbit.

I can only imagine how confused you must be right now. No, that’s not a typo nor am I referring to a real rabbit.

Rabbit is an online video chatting application that allows you to share screens with those in your “room” with you! Basically, you can stream Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon video together or just browse the Internet.

rabbit screenshot to watch netflix

Just two days ago I was Rabbiting with my friend Emma who lives 2,200 miles away from me. We started American Horror Story together back in high school, and now we can still watch it together even though we lives states away. Plus, we can see each other while watching it so we can see and hear each other’s reactions! We can also chat, but I had the feature disabled during this photo.

Rabbit can be a best testy sometimes, because it only launched back in 2013.The trouble you might have makes for great fun and problem solving with your friend, and nothing beats being able to watch you and your friend’s show together even though you’re actually miles apart.

You can also use Rabbit just to video chat like you would on FaceTime, just with a bigger screen than your phone. Which is why I prefer it over FaceTime.


Yes, I’m being serious. This may just be a me thing, because I absolutely love emails. There’s just something about them!

The great thing about emailing is that it allows your friend to reply on their own time, and it’ll guarantee they see it. I mean who doesn’t get their email sent to their phone these days? Plus, it may motivate some people to delete those hundreds or thousands of unread emails they have sitting it their inbox. You know who you are.

I’ve technically never used this to keep in touch with a distant friend, but I used it all the time to stay in contact with my dad when he was deployed overseas.

Related: A Letter from the Daughter of an Army Man

Snail mail

Again, I’m not joking around here. You should know that by now.

I honestly can’t decide which I prefer, getting an email or getting a letter in the mail. Probably a real letter, because it’s more personal. You can see their handwriting, and it’s something they once held so it just feels more intimate and special. Plus, one of my friends likes to always doodle on the edges of the paper so it’s even prettier.

There are three downfalls to talking through snail mail though: it takes a few days for your letter to get in your friend’s hands, you have to pay for stamps, and they may forget to send one back.

But like I said, there’s just something special about holding something your friend wrote just for you.


This one is highly dependent on how far away your friend(s) live from you. Most of my friends in different states live over 1,000 miles away so it’s not plausible for me to visit more than once as the broke college student I am.

What I did my freshman year was to go back to visit during my winter break and then over summer just visit solely one friend. But that broke my bank account, so that didn’t happen this year and probably won’t again.

Related: What I Learned on Vacation

Instead, I stayed home to work over winter break and I’m going to visit my friends over summer, and then have one of them take their turn to come visit me. Basically my plan now is to alternate with my friends on who is traveling to visit who and if I’m visiting all my friends, or just one.

For my friends who live closer, like only a state away, I see them about three to four times a year (besides when I see them during the semester). They’re about an hour to three hours drives away, so whoever is more comfortable driving does so, but they’re usually more casual short lived things like a night out, a trip to the skating rink and then a sleepover.

As obvious as all of these are, I still feel they had to be mentioned. We do tend to forget the most obvious things don’t we?


Speaking of friends, I consider all of you my friends! And I would love to get to know each one of you better, so I would love it if you filled out the survey I made! Just click here to fill it out now!

How do you stay in touch with your distant friends? Let me know in the comments below!

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