It's almost May, and that means summer vacations, graduations and people leaving town for jobs or family. That means a lot of goodbyes.
I am the worst at not only saying goodbye, but keeping in touch afterwards. If you aren't physically in front of me at least once a week, chances are we won't talk regularly. But! I've decided that this is my year to change that, and I'm going to work on making my goodbyes actually mean something:
Stay In Touch
First off, get the info you need:
Facebook - The best friend-stalking service. Insta works too. The tricky part is you can fall into the habit of seeing what your friends are doing, but never actually talking to them about it. You stay informed but not involved. Not a great relationship!
Phone Number - Archaic, I know, but did you know that you can actually call people these days?! Hearing someone's voice is so much more powerful than any text conversation you can have.
Email - Phone numbers change, FB can be down, but chances are, an email will remain the same. Have that baby saved in your address book in case of emergency.
Address - I am a big BIG fan of care packages, letters, or just ridiculous "Hi, I miss you," cards. Send something they can hold, read, or use.
Short Term Goodbyes
Make Plans - They're leaving for a month? Make plans for getting coffee or meeting up the week or so after they return. Have the plan marked on both your calendars!
Stay in Touch - If they're backpacking in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, I get it, SnapChat might not work. But do your best to keep up with what they're doing and just drop a "hey" once a week.
Long Term Goodbyes
Extend Your Goodbye - The most moving goodbyes I can think of was when I came home from two different study abroad experiences. Both times, my friends and host-families would write me letters for me to read on the plane home. It was heartbreaking to read their letters, but now I have them as momentos and I'll never forget their friendship. Writing a heartfelt letter is a great way to let a friend know you'll truly miss them.
Be Realistic - You aren't going to talk on the phone everyday, so don't make that promise. Be realistic about how much you'll talk to each other, and when you might get a chance to see them again. Dreaming is nice, but it becomes a sort of let down when you don't actually skype once for an entire year when you promised to skype every week.
Be Understanding - You're busy, they're busy too. Don't get mad if a text goes unanswered, they're in a different place, possible different time zone, and definitely in a different situation. Chill out, you're still friends!