When you’re buried under papers and stressing about finals, summer break seems like heaven on Earth. But once you’re home with your fam, it hits you — summer break also means being separated from the BFFs you made at school who have gone home, too, and it can be pretty lonely without them. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to see your friends from home again, but when you’ve seen your college besties every day since last August, it can be pretty hard to let your old routine go.
Even though there’s iMessage, Snapchat, and Instagram, there are also a lot of other fun ways to keep in touch with long-distance friends that have nothing to do with social media. And if you’re looking for a creative way to keep your far-away bestie close to you all summer long, you’ve definitely come to the right place.
Feeling like a piece of you is missing? Just remember that this separation is temporary — and in the meantime, there are tons of fun ways to keep in touch with your BFFs over the summer.
1. Write actual snail mail letters to each other
Of course, when something big (or small) happens, you’re probably going to text your friend immediately, but let’s face it: Snail mail has a certain charm that you can’t get with a text message, and if you’re far away from your BFF this summer, it’s a good opportunity to send her something special. Buy some cute stationary and fun stamps (the United States Postal Service website has tons to choose from) and commit to writing each other letters all summer long. It’ll be a fun keepsake for your friendship, and who doesn’t love getting mail?
2. Download a fun messaging app
We know, we know — there are already a million ways to keep in touch via phone if you want to. But to make things extra special, download a messaging app that you only use to talk to your BFF this summer, making it like your own secret way of passing notes while you’re apart. Don’t know where to start? Try Dasher, which has fun features like group messaging and running polls, or Glide, which lets you livestream video in your messages.
3. Send each other care packages
Getting packages is even more fun than getting a regular ol’ letter in the mail. Your care package doesn’t have to be expensive, but you can challenge each other to put together a package of each other’s favorite things (and maybe even some stuff you can only get in each other’s hometowns) and mail out the packages on the same day. You’ll both end up with a fun treat in the mail — and it will be even more fun to put together the package. Pro tip: There are hundreds of ideas for how to decorate your care package on Pinterest if you really want to take it to the next level.
4. Plan a long-distance Netflix date
If you and your BFF were always watching Netflix together when you were at school, there’s no reason that has to stop during the summer. Plan a date where you both get snacks and watch the same thing on Netflix, and text each other your thoughts while you’re watching — you can even FaceTime each other while you watch, if you want.
5. Make a bucket list for the next school year
While you’re apart, spend time planning what you’ll do when you’re together again. All summer long, work on crafting the perfect bucket list for next semester, including weekend road trips, new restaurants you want to try, cool coffee shops you’ve never been to — anything goes. Not only will this help you keep in touch all summer long, but it’ll also give you a bunch of ideas to choose from next time you’re bored on a Friday night during the school year.
6. Plan a trip to see each other
Make it super easy to pass the time this summer by planning to see each other. If you have the time and budget for it, it might not be a bad idea to plan a fun trip together, even if it’s just one of you deciding to visit the other’s hometown. And if you’re within driving distance of each other, why not meet in the middle and find fun things to do wherever the “middle” happens to be? Having a vacation to look forward to (and knowing you’ll see your BFF again before fall hits) can make that distance seem way smaller.
7. Live your own Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
It doesn’t have to be pants — just any object that you and your BFF decide on. Keep it for a week, take it on adventures, and post your photos on Instagram and tag your BFF. Then send it back. It’ll help you feel connected all summer long — and it can even end up being a tradition you continue for summers to come.
Being away from your BFF is never fun, but hopefully these ideas will help the time fly. Next time you see each other, your friendship will be stronger than ever and you’ll have plenty of stories to tell from your time apart.