How to Foster Healthy Friendships After College

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Wednesday December 20, 2023

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College makes everything so convenient. You live in the same area as your best friends and can see them every day. No matter how chaotic your schedules seem, you can always count on seeing each other frequently throughout the week. Once you graduate, maintaining friendships after college can be challenging. Everyone is out conquering their own lives, likely apart from one another. Keeping your friendships tight doesn’t have to be complicated, though. Here are some tips to strengthen your bonds, even when you’re far away from each other.

1. Call Your Faraway Friends

If you moved back home after college, you might have a chance to reconnect with some of your friends from high school. However, you may not be able to see the friends you grew to love in college every day. They’ve likely spent the last four years or so by your side, celebrating your achievements and consoling you through your setbacks. You may miss the people you basically lived with while at college.

Regular phone calls can help people feel less lonely and alleviate anxiety. Being alone can be isolating, but a phone call can improve everything. Make sure to pay complete attention during the call, so you can communicate to your friends that you miss them and still value what they have to say.

2. Plan Weekend Get-Togethers

Sometimes, just a day or a dinner out with your friends isn’t enough. Planning a whole weekend with them is the easiest way to get caught up with one another’s lives. Make a plan to stay at someone’s home or get a hotel, and you and your friends can have a weekend full of activities that allow you to catch up with one another. These weekends are moments that you will treasure, so try to stay unplugged, if you can.

3. Talk About the Deep Things

The best friendships are more than just surface level. Learn how to communicate effectively with your friends. Understand that you may not always agree on every topic, and that’s normal and okay. You should also practice your body language and eye contact to make the most of your time with your friends. 

Communication is key to understanding what your friends want from and will bring to their relationships with you, as well as what you can offer and the sort of respect you want from them. Now that you’re all out in the real world, adjusting to friendships you don’t actively participate in every day might be challenging. Still, you should aim to communicate with your friends when you can. Ask them how they are — and get to know them all over again.

4. Visit Your Old School

Chances are, you had friends in college who didn’t graduate at the same time as you. When you have a free weekend after settling into your post-graduate routine, you should take a trip to see them. Your friends still in school would be delighted to know that you’re still thinking about them. 

You may not be able to visit frequently, but even just surprising them with a trip or returning to your old clubs for a day can delight your friends who are still working toward their degrees. Though they may still be in school, talking to and mentoring your younger friends is a way to foster healthy friendships after college.

5. Look for Local Communities

If you find yourself missing the everyday friendship you had back in school, you may need to look for more friends in your area. Search for local groups you have things in common with or volunteer for a worthy cause in your area. Engaging in your local community can help you find new friends of various backgrounds and personalities, all while learning more about the area you live in. You’ll potentially get to help out your community while making new friends in what might be a new place.

Maintain Your Friendships After College

The friendships you built in college are ones that you can have for life if you foster them after graduation. Though it may be hard keeping up a friendship when you have so many other responsibilities, you’ll have the rewarding promise of a lasting friendship after college, where you and your pals continue to grow together. Do what you can to show your friends that you care, and they’ll show up for you in return.

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