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College of Arts and Sciences

Keeping in Touch with Friends

by Jillian Holch '16

"Did you get my message? 'Cause I looked in vain." "Can we see each other Tuesday if it doesn't rain?" "Look, I'll call you in the morning or my service will explain."
–        “Another Hundred People” from Company by Stephen Sondheim

In the busy world of extra curriculars, classes, homework, and job/internship applications, it’s a wonder how some of us manage to get any sleep or relaxation time done in college.  At Cornell, everyone loads so much on their plate that it’s easy to get carried away or caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all.  And that’s fine.  We all came to Cornell because we were overachievers that were passionate about many issues, which comes across in our resumes and course loads.  The one thing that we sometimes lose sight of though in all of this: friendship. There is a saying that is on many sorority-related websites, which I tend to agree with: “I came to college to find my bridesmaids, not my husband.”  And hopefully in your time at college, you will be lucky enough to meet some of your best friends who you feel like you can be yourself around, who you grow up with, who you feel as though you can turn to for anything, and who you stay in touch with long after college ends.  When I was younger, I would go with my family to visit my mom’s (Cornell ’81) friend from college and spend the day with his family and play with his kids.  A girl in my sorority got married this summer, and her best friends from college were her bridesmaids.  As freshmen, when we meet our friends on our freshman floor, we hope that the bonds we make will stay long after freshman year ends.  However, whether it’s that we are too busy one semester with work, we go abroad a semester, we get into a relationship, or we simply stop living ten feet away from our best friends, we tend to lose touch with people that used to mean so much to us.  While obstacles do creep up every once in a while preventing us from spending all of our time with our friends, it is important to make an effort to maintain the friendships that mean something to us.  Here are some helpful tips to help you stay in touch with friends during college.

GROUP ME: When you have a group of friends, and everyone’s schedule is different, Group Me is a great way to chat with your friends.  Basically a mobile app that is a huge group message, I’ve seen Group Me used to communicate with up to 60 people.  If you are on Central Campus and you want to grab dinner with some friends, hit up the Group Me to see if anyone else is close to where you are.  A lot of my friends also have a Group Me for their freshman floor that they use as sophomores and juniors.  Through Group Me, you can organize monthly reunions with your friends that you haven’t seen in a while, whether this is a group dinner date at Collegetown Bagels, or going as a group to an event on or off campus.

COFFEE/LUNCH FRIEND DATE: This is meant for the close friends that haven’t seen each other in a while due to circumstance instead of choice.  Maybe you don’t live next door to each other any more, or maybe you’ve had a crazy academic/extracurricular schedule this semester, but you still really want to keep in touch.  Schedule weekly/bi-weekly/monthly coffee or lunch dates with your friend to catch up on each other’s lives.  You have to eat food every day, so why not spend one of those days each week with a friend?  There are some friends who won’t see each other for a while, but can pick up with each other as if nothing has changed.  Every Thursday at 4:30pm, Willard Straight has a Coffee Hour, where you get free coffee or tea for asking and answering a question to someone else there.  This semester I’ve been running into my roommate from last year there, and we always spend 10-15 minutes catching up on each other’s lives.  This isn’t as planned or organized as getting coffee at Libe or the Ivy Room, but it is still a small interaction that I value and appreciate, and is easy for many people to do.

STUDY TOGETHER: My best friend and I have been really busy this semester, and haven’t seen as much of each other as we would like, so yesterday she texted me and we decided to hang out and do homework together tomorrow night.  For the friends who you know you will see in the future, but are just too busy to make time for in the present, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you spend time together.  We will be sitting in silence doing homework, but I’m fine with that as long as we are together.  For the friends you have made at college where you can do anything and still have a good time, these are the most important friendships to maintain.  Whether you just schedule weekly study dates, or sit next to each other in the one class you share, make sure to spend time with them in any small or large way. While I have only listed three ways to keep in touch with your friends, there are so many more ways to do so.  Also, make sure that you are the one extending the effort.  If you wait around for your friend to make plans with you to test them, they might not get the hint, resulting in less time spent together.  Be active.  Ask your friend when you are free and make plans.  There are dozens of events going on in Ithaca every week.  All you have to do is pick one and a good friend to spend your time with.

 Jillian Holch