Staying connected while staying apart

How to stay close with friends who are six feet or more away


By Jerica Williams

To spice up communication with distant friends, try taking a photo and creating a custom postcard to surprise them with in the mail. This can be as simple as stepping outside and taking a quick snapshot of the view. You could even do a series documenting face masks that match your outfits.

Jerica Williams, Contributor

Building connections and lifelong friendships with other students is a huge part of what makes college so impactful. Friendships obtained in college can influence the discovery of new passions, as well as a better understanding of oneself.

However, the need to social distance and prevent the spread of COVID-19 may hinder these connections. Many students have left campus to return home and engage in online learning. This has made it difficult to build and maintain close relationships with those people you may not see face-to-face anymore.

While social media has made staying connected with friends easier, the warmth of another person may not be completely felt behind a screen. Fortunately, a similar feeling of closeness can be achieved in much more personal ways than through social media alone.

In the past, people often wrote letters and sent postcards to distant loved ones. You can make your own postcards using pictures you take and have printed. Write small messages on the back of the pictures and send them to friends for a unique, heartfelt surprise.

This practice can be taken a step further by sharing a small notebook with friends and mailing it back and forth, each person recording their adventures apart. Once you reunite, you will have filled an entire notebook of memories to look through together. Think “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”

If you are unable to make it to the post office, there is nothing more personal than simply making a playlist on Spotify or iTunes and sharing it with your friends. You can send songs that remind you of each other, or spell out a message using the first letter of each song and arranging them in a specific order.

While facing the challenges of college life apart from your friends can be intimidating, there are many ways to stay connected until the time comes to see each other again.