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Reader: How do you survive when all your friends are no longer in the same city for summer?
Ogonna: I don’t know about you, but time and change will surely show how clingy I am to my friends. During the academic year, I miss my friends from home. During the summer, I miss my friends from school. If I wasn’t procrastinating on work with friends on weekdays, I would at least have another human to be bored with on weekends. But as time goes on, graduations happen, internships start and friends leave.
Distance is a heartbreaker, especially among the clingiest of friends. This summer, don’t let distance be a reason to stop your friendship traditions. Here’s where technology can bring us closer together instead of keeping us out of touch.
If you have a TV show you watched together, start a summer show and make a FaceTime or Skype date of it. Just don’t get too ahead of them if they’ve missed a few episodes because they can and will call you out on spoilers. I’ve been there, done that. Live competition shows are always a fan favorite as well. My personal guilty pleasures being “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” I’m neither a drag queen nor a dancer, but predicting the winners is a talent in itself.
Your best memories with your friends during the year might have been craft nights or (legal) wine and dine nights, so keep it up during summer. Create something fun and crafty you saw on Pinterest, keep each other on speaker phone or Skype and party on. Find a recipe that both of you can make and talk each other through the mess. It could turn out to be a disaster or a revelation of artistic genius, but at least you’ll have someone to share it with.
Summer is also a time to reinvent ourselves and finally start on that new year’s resolution. But it’s a lot easier said than done, and a lot easier with our best friends to motivate us along the way. Whether it’s working out, starting a blog, finding a date or actually making a summer reading list, set some goals to work on together or as a group. Keep each other updated on your progress throughout the summer. You’ll feel connected to your friends while also achieving some goals of your own.
If it’s your job that’s keeping you away from your friends, it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Many times, your answer to having fun is right there in your workplace. By taking lunch breaks together or going out after hours, your coworkers can become your summer source of community. These people don’t have to become your closest friends, but they can still accompany you to the movies, or provide company to watch “the game” with, whatever game that is. I’m clearly not a sports person, but there is always some type of game going on.
If all else fails, take a roadtrip! There has to be at least one free weekend or three-day cluster where you and your friends can meet up somewhere in these 50 states. Or even better, get out of the fifty states. Group chat each other and find a way to meet up over break. It’s possible. It really is.
And if you still feel lost and alone this summer without your friends, you’re not the only one. That girl who is constantly duck-face snap-chatting “wish you were here,” and that guy who’s always mentioning his “buddies back home” are both sending out desperate signals for company. Keep your best friends on speed dial, but keep an open mind to the people right in front of you as well.