One of my favourite parts of being a university student is meeting new people. At the University of Toronto, I’ve crossed paths with folks from all over the world, some of whom I’m lucky to call my best friends. This is what is great about being one person in a population of over 40,000 undergraduates. My high school, which had a sizable 2500-person student body, dwarfs in comparison. At U of T, you’re bound to find people who share even your most niche interests, inside and outside of the classroom. But despite all the people I’ve gotten to know, I try hard to maintain relationships with my high school squad.
My resolve to stay in touch with friends at home is strong, but attending college 4000 kilometers away presents challenges that many U of T students can relate to. It’s easy to feel jealous when you know that your favourite people are hanging out and you can’t be there. However, my fears are quelled in the knowledge that regardless of how much time passes, my friends will always welcome me back. I may miss out on beach bonfires and our ritual Korean BBQ trips, but I can always trust my friends to act like it’s only been one day, not 365 since I saw them last. The bonding through mutual suffering in 7 AM AP English classes lasts you a lifetime!
Long distance friendship may present challenges, but technology makes keeping in touch infinitely easier. Last year I drained the battery on my phone and laptop in just one FaceTime conversation. Video chat is the next best thing to seeing my friends face-to-face. The only drawback is that conversations with old friends can last for eons, making it hard to set aside time during the school year. When there’s no time for video calls, one way I use to keep in contact is tagging high school friends in Facebook memes. While it may be a bit unconventional, it always is nice to know your friends are thinking of you.
Snapchat is another simple way to keep in touch. While long video calls and text conversations are nice, sending pictures about what you’re up to on a daily basis is a great way to keep your friends involved in your life. Whether it’s sending a picture of your midterms studying, or how messy your dorm room is, Snapchat helps you keep making memories (no pun intended) together despite the distance.
Long distance friendships may be tough, but the memories made analyzing poetry at 7 AM in high school English are enough to make any relationship durable. Memes and Snapchat filters have proven to me that with the help of technology, friendship can overcome any geographical distance.