Maintaining High School Friendships at College
As the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" fade away, you realize that nothing will ever be the same. You're excited about graduating from high school and starting college, but you'll sure miss your high school friends as all of you begin the next phase of your lives.
The good news is that today's college students are finding it easier than ever to keep in touch with their high school friends. Even as they make new friends at college, students are using email, instant messenger services, social networking Web sites, and good old-fashioned visits, phone calls, and letters to stay close to their high school friends.
21st Century Friendships
"For students worried about falling out of touch with their high-school friends, my advice is simple: email," says Bernadette Henderson-Horner, admission counselor at New Mexico State University and a recent college graduate.
Even if you didn't have easy Internet access or email in high school, colleges now have all you need for email correspondence. It is a rare college indeed that does not provide computer centers, Internet access, and email addresses free to students. At more and more colleges, students who bring their own computers can get free Internet access in their dorm rooms.
"Email was the best thing to happen to me because I could talk to my friends on a daily basis without paying for a stamp or running up the phone bill," adds Henderson-Horner.
Instant Messenger and similar services are also popular with college students. "It's cheap and a great way to keep in touch," says Anna Stroud, a student at Albion College (MI).
Technology can even help friends connect from across the world. Mickey Chang, who attended high school in Michigan and is now a student at Meikai University, Japan, uses email capabilities on his cell phone to send messages to his best friend's pager in Michigan.
Tried and True
Of course, you don't need a computer or a cell phone to maintain a long-distance friendship. Many students go beyond email to let their high school friends know they're not forgotten.
"I still send birthday presents, and a note once in a while to everyone," says Stroud. "Mail is good—everyone in college loves to get mail!"
Nothing substitutes for hanging out with your friends in person, though. Many colleges have overlapping breaks, so make sure to let your high school friends know when you'll be home. If you and several friends attend colleges fairly close to one another or to home, try to schedule a weekend visit or two.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. © 2008 National Association for College Admission Counseling.
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