I hit the jackpot with this group of friends. They are truly the strongest, most inspiring women I know. They all flew down to Florida to "surprise" me for my 25th Birthday, only Bailey and Megan got too excited and spilled the secret as soon as they booked their flights (haha so typical, but I love them for it). We all met at Purdue and before this weekend, we hadn't all been in the same place at the same time since our graduation (aka it had been 3 years too long)! I love how everything in our lives has changed, like moving all over the country and starting different careers and getting engaged (MEGAN), yet everything has stayed the same. I'm sharing some tips for how me made our friendship last long distance and loads of snapshots from the birthday weekend below.
As promised, here are my 6 steps to maintaining strong friendships:
1. Start a group chat.
Group text, group snap chat, group Facebook messenger, group Instagram messages- I'm not kidding, we have them all, and we use them all. Whether it's sending hilarious memes, asking for prayer requests, ranting about our day, this is our most common mode of communication. A group message is the easiest way to make everyone feel included and up to date. I hear from at least one of them every single day on one of these chats, and it's typically the highlight of my day too. #harrysbananapeppers
2. Download Houseparty.
This is not an ad; we just seriously swear by this app. It's basically 3-way calling but for FaceTime and with 5 people. We schedule Houseparty dates to catch up on each other's lives or if someone has a big update, like when Megan got engaged! It makes me feel like I'm sitting on a couch with my best friends instead of being thousands of miles away from them.
3. Schedule times to call each other.
Phone tag is the WORST, especially when you're also very forgetful and forget to return phone calls (sorry my b...). Instead of dealing with that mess, I schedule times to call my friends. Text them and ask when they are free the following week and add the phone call into your planner. I know it seems so lame to "pencil in" your best friends, but when you both have crazy busy schedules, it makes life easier! And it also gives you something to look forward to during a long work day.
4. Annual friend's trips.
This one is probably my favorite bit of advice. We decided to nix buying birthday presents and instead spend our money on an annual friend trip. Last year some of us went to NYC and had a blast and this year we all met up in Florida. Next year will be a big bachelorette party, location TBD!
5. Remember important dates.
Obviously you should call your friends on their birthdays, but try texting and calling them on other important days too. I try my best to remember their first days at new jobs, move-in days, big interviews. It can be as easy as sending a quick text wishing them good luck. It will mean the world to them that you remembered and that you are thinking about them. And if you are terrible at remembering dates (cough cough Kari), write them in your planner!
6. Hold each other up.
Both figuratively and literally (see above pictures). There are some horrible people out there that are going to try to tear your friends (or sisters) down, whether its a colleague saying they aren't good enough for their job, a boy who breaks their heart or disrespects them, a friend who doesn't include them, family that tries to take away their joy. The best thing you can do for your friends is encourage them, listen to them, support their decisions, threaten to light bad boys on fire (kidding. kind of.). I know my friends would do literally anything for me, so I try to uphold the same standard for myself, and you should too!
I hope this post is helpful to you! Share with your friends who are about to graduate or move long distance. How do you stay close to your girlfriends? Do you have any advice?