More than 20 million students are starting their freshman year at college this fall, according to the US Census. Plenty of these co-eds will head to school in another zip code, community or state, putting lots of distance between them and the people they love. Don’t let the miles create a wedge. Instead, consider these low cost ways to stay connected when your friends or kids leave for college.
Send Care Packages Care packages aren’t just for little kids at summer camp—college students love getting them too. The contents don’t have to be extravagant. Send homemade cookies, quarters for the washing machine or photos. It will let them know they are missed and that staying in touch is a priority for you.
Share a Traveling Journal
Do what my friends and I did—start a Traveling Journal. Fill your shared journal with photos, notes and memories then pass it on to the next person. The longer it circulates between you and your long distance friends the more meaningful your Traveling Journal will become.
Meet in the Middle
Split the journey between you in half by meeting in the middle for a weekend getaway. You’ll both pay less for gas and you’ll get to enjoy some quality time together in a new place.
Start a Joint Blog
College freshmen are busy, but they’ll also be looking for an outlet to share all the fun new things they’re doing. By sharing a blog you can share an experience despite the distance between you. You’ll have some common ground—even if it is virtual.
Continue to Share Experiences
You may not be able to see each other on a regular basis, but you can still enjoy some of the same things together. Tune in to your favorite TV shows at the same time, rent the same movie on Friday night or head to your local Starbucks for coffee and a phone call. You could even both jump on the treadmill at the same time for a joint workout. Sharing experiences doesn’t have to stop just because your friend or child is starting a new chapter in life.
By Alison Storm
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