They say you find your true friends in college, but what happens to the friendship after it’s all over? It’s understandable to lose track of friendships after graduation—life happens, you get caught up in the stress of officially being an adult and sometimes you just forget to check-in because you don’t see your friends every day around campus anymore. However, your friendships don’t have to dwindle away. Here’s a list of fun ways to keep your friendships fun and active, and ways to stay connected with each other, after college.
1. Create a group text
The fastest way of communication is with your phone. With today’s technology and smartphones being improved every year, everything is at your fingertips. A great way to keep in touch with your friends from college is by creating a group text. You’ll be able to talk, keep it updated every day and have your friends right at your fingertips. Instagram and Snapchat also have a group feature where you can send posts (and other posts from other people) to your group chat. And whenever you need some quiet time, utilizing the do not disturb feature on iMessage and turning notifications off on specific apps is easily accessible.
2. Celebrate each other’s birthdays
One big way that friends usually come together is during birthdays. Remembering and celebrating each other on the one day you call your own can become a special thing between friends as well. You can either plan something every year on each other’s birthday, or create a fun gifting tradition. Some ideas could include sending funny birthday cards that everyone signs, making handmade gifts or creating a box or basket full of their favorite things. Starting a birthday tradition will be one that everyone can enjoy and will remember for years.
3. Watch TV shows together
Now that almost everything we watch on TV can be streamed, a way to keep your friendship fun is to binge watch your favorite show, or something completely new you can explore together. If you’re close in location, have a weekly night to come over and watch the show together, once social-distancing measures are over. Shows that run on cable usually have their own day of the week. Make it even more fun by adding food and wine, especially if it’s a TGIT night. If you and your friends are far from each other, set up Skype or FaceTime while the show is playing.
4. Plan a monthly virtual activity
Having a weekly night to binge watch shows can also be turned into a monthly tradition for other activities. Scheduling a wine night or a movie night with your friends every month can easily become a tradition that you can be consisten with. Anai Perez, a 2017 graduate of St. John’s University says, “My best friends and I all live on opposite sides of the country now that we've graduated (New York, California, Florida and Texas to be exact). We have monthly wine nights via OoVoo where we catch up with each other and we all even drink the same wine.” If you guys are foodies, Sunday brunches at new restaurants are always a fun way to spend time together. Even for the times where everyone is balling on a budget, cooking together at someone’s house or having picnics in a park will still bring everyone together to spend time with one another. For a healthy activity, invite each other to your favorite gym to exercise, or try doing yoga together.
5. Plan group vacations or make travel plans to visit each other
Adult life after college gets very stressful at times, and if you’re not careful, you could work yourself too much. It’s important to take time to relax and rejuvenate, and why not bring your friends along? A fun way to keep your friendships active is to travel and go on vacations with each other. Plan road trips to see each other or bigger trips out of the country. Make it memorable by taking pictures at every location and printing them out, or making sure to buy a souvenir from each place you go to.
Shira Kipnees, a 2015 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, says, “We’ll do things like spend New Year’s Eve together (and make it a weekend) at one girl’s apartment and then spend some time in that city and have some fun parties. Another thing some of us do is to plan a once a year reunion in NYC and spend a day or together doing fun things and going out for a meal—this works out well especially when you have a mixed-gender group and is a great way to see each other.” Another fun activity to do together is traveling to different music festivals. There’s nothing like music to bring people together.
6. Plan to meet up at alma mater events (when they happen again)
Even though you and your friends may not see each other everyday, there will always be one mutual place that is held deep in your hearts—your school! Now that you’re a part of the alumni club, getting together to go back to your alma mater can be a special time for all of you. Make plans to attend those first football or basketball games of the season together, or make homecoming a big deal by getting dressed up in your school colors and attending the game. There are also alumni events that you and your friends may find interesting to go to together. This is the place where you found each other and formed your friendship. Why not go back and visit together?
Maintaining your friendships after college may be a little harder, but it's not impossible if everyone makes the effort to keep it fun and active. Adding some of these activities into your friendship will definitely keep you connected and may even bring you closer together.