8 tips for keeping in touch with your long-distance BFF
Best friends forever! Joined at the hip! Do everything together! Right? But what if you live far away from each other?
With over 70% of UVic students coming to campus from somewhere outside of the greater Victoria area, it’s likely that many students are coming to campus and leaving behind many of their high school or childhood friends in their hometown.
That happened to me – my best friend Sorrell lives back in Alberta. I met her when we were 18 years old, during my first year of university before I transferred here to UVic. We lived across the hall from each other in residence, and quickly became very close.
We ate almost every meal together, we worked out every morning, and we studied together in her room. When we were stressed or upset, we leaned on each other. When she got sick, I sat with her for 14 hours in the hospital, and fielded calls from her mom (and, I’ll be honest, my mom too). We call each other, not by our names, but rather “bestie”.
When she moved back to her hometown and I transferred here, I was worried that we would drift apart. Living in different provinces isn’t easy, but we are still besties, and just as close as we ever were. Here’s how we handle being BFFs, but living so far away.
1. Social media is key: Facebook plays a huge part in how we keep in touch. We can keep up with what the other one is up to, share pictures and memories, and reminisce about fun times and inside jokes. It’s a great way to still support each other, whether it’s “liking” posts, private messaging, or sending jokes back and forth. I always get excited when a new notification from Sorrell pops up.
2. FaceTime (or Skype) dates: Sorrell and I try to have FaceTime “dates” when we have the chance. We can see each other, and talk to each other without having to type or write. We can laugh, joke around, and see each other’s cats (we both have giant black kitties: mine is Simon, hers is Monster, and both are significantly bigger than they should be). We can also just sit and enjoy each other’s company. We share memories and inside jokes – the movie Mamma Mia makes a regular appearance, and my fear of spiders is mentioned frequently. Usually our FaceTime sessions devolve into giggles at least once during the call.
3. Don’t forget to call: I know a lot of people find talking on the phone to be awkward or strange, but it does make a difference. Sorrell and I often use an app to send voice messages to each other, and it’s always a lot of fun. Somehow getting a little voice message is so much easier than just talking on the phone!
4. Visit when you can: Flights are expensive. I don’t have a car. Driving would take about 17 hours (plus a ferry ride) as it is. The last time I saw my bestie in person was last summer at her wedding.
It’s simply not realistic for us to see each other in person more often. If you and your bestie have the chance to get together, do it! If you’re both heading home for the holidays or at the end of the school year, plan to spend some time together. Often when we do see each other in person, much of the time is just spent enjoying each other’s company, with no pressure to go out or do something crazy. Watching movies, listening to music, or just going on a walk can be the best bestie time.
5. Keep up with the good news: Whether it’s a good grade on a test, or a particularly crazy story, I always try to let Sorrell know about my news, and she does the same. This keeps the connection strong, and it means we never feel cast aside.
No amount of good news is too small to share with your BFF! I often tell Sorrell how school is going (mostly so she can tease me about being a nerd), and she, in turn, tells me what’s new with her business. Let your BFF know about anything you would normally tell them in person – a crazy date night, a tough midterm, or even about your new friends!
6. Time may slip away: Sometimes I wake up and realize I haven’t spoken to Sorrell in a while. This often makes me sad, but it’s important to remember that we both have busy lives! It doesn’t mean that we love each other any less. That’s when I send her a quick message, just saying ‘hi’, or sending a funny picture, or just telling her that I miss her. Don’t worry if this happens to you – your bestie still knows you love them!
7. It’s okay to “cheat”: One more important thing I learned was that it’s ok to have another best friend. Personally, I distinguish between my best friend and my bestie – although I do have a best friend here in Victoria, I will always only have one bestie, and Sorrell will always have the honour of that title! Just because you make other friends, even other best friends, it doesn’t make that bestie any less important.
8. Appreciate the time you have: The most important thing about having a long-distance BFF is to appreciate the time you do get together. Reminisce about the funny things you’ve done, enjoy thinking about how embarrassing it was that one time you did something crazy, and always tell them how much you love and miss them!
Distance might make it hard, and you do have to put in the effort, but it is so worth it. I would be so sad if Sorrell and I ever fell out of touch, and I’m so glad she’s still an important part of my life. Love you, Bestie!