After a long, challenging school year, it's finally time for that awaited moment - summer! For many people, summer means staying up all night with friends and having multiple chances to meet up. But because of the pandemic, summer will look a. little different this year, particularly the goodbyes. During this time, goodbyes may be happening virtually. Are you amongst the group of people that will need to say goodbye once summer hits? You're not alone, and there are many ways you can keep your friendships alive and well through the summer, even when social-distancing!
- Make time for face-to-face calls individually or in a group. FaceTime or some other face-to-face calling network works great if you have the connection. While you may not be able to see your friend in person, you can still see them as if they were there. There have been many times when I've FaceTimed loved ones when they were even in a different country! Unfortunately, there are many instances when being in separate countries conflicts with good connection or timing issues, but if you are able to you connect you should definitely go for it.
- Talk or do something regularly online. Get a group of friends or family together to workout, study scripture, or talk about books together. Find out something you all love to do and do it together over Zoom. I have a group that works out together and we take turns leading HIIT, yoga, or a dance workout. We meet everyday, but you could do every other day or weekly.
- Form a text-messaging group chat. Not everyone prefers to communicate on a calling platform. Texting can be beneficial for those not-so-good-looking-days, or for days where everyone is too lazy to actually speak over the phone. It's quick and silent.
- Marco Polo! This is an app that allows you to send videos back and forth to one another. The mission of the company is to allow people to feel close even from afar. This app is well-known for assisting people in building authentic friendships.
- Write an old- fashioned letter. There is so much power and nostalgia in sending a letter to a loved one. It's not an instant way of communicating, but there's so much beauty in the wait. Writing a letter is fun, but receiving a letter is so rewarding! When you finally get that letter back in the mail, it's worth the wait.
- Schedule a movie night. Netflix has a party option that allows you to watch TV and shows together and chat about it, too! If you don't have Netflix, there's a website called Kosmi that allows someone to share their screen, watch a movie together, and chat about it.
- Make a collaborative playlist. Spotify has an option to make a playlist collaborative. It allows you and your friends to all add music to the same playlist. This is a great way to stay connected to those you miss! How do you do it? First, open Spotify on your desktop. Then, scroll down to your playlists. Right click on the playlist you want to share with your friends and you should see, "Collaborative Playlist." Click on it and a mark should show up signifying it's a collaborative playlist. To share it with your friends, click on the Share button and select the “Send to…” tab on the right.
Remember that summer can actually be beneficial for your relationships because it'll test if they're true or not. No matter the distance or time apart, true friends always remain friends. College will provide you with so many new relationships and seeing which ones stick through it all will be important.