Five ways to stay in touch with your Exeter uni mates after graduation

I warn you, invites to TP are harder to come by once you graduate

Graduation is approaching, the pressure is on. People always say that you meet your best friends at uni – but that assumes you keep that friendship going AFTER university too. Friendships become harder to keep when you aren’t all living on Vic Street anymore so if you’re someone who is renowned for going off-the-grid and failing to text back, now is the time to buck up your ideas. This list is going to single-handedly keep your friendships alive – assuming that you listen to tip number four, that is:

1. Express your desire to keep in touch

Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is important to begin at the start, you know. Make sure both you and your friends have actually spoken about the future and that you share a mutual desire to stay in touch – AKA you both survived Old Laf together, and if you can get through that, you can get through anything. There’s no point making plans with someone you only talk to because they’re in your seminar – friendship, especially long-distance, is all about the give and take.

2. Try to make a provisional plan while you’re still physically together

Logistics over text can be a bit of a nightmare so it’s a good idea to share your summer plans in person if you can, and grad week is a great opportunity for this. You don’t have to book the hypothetical trip to your friend’s second home in Salcombe right now, but at least having that provisional plan will remind you a month from now that you were supposed to meet – even if the meeting doesn’t actually go ahead.

3. Have some sort of calendar

This is so important – there’s nothing worse than double-booking or cancelling at the last minute because you have no idea what plans you made and when. Even if you just use the calendar on your phone – make a note somewhere when planning to meet up with mates, especially in busy holidays like summer and Christmas. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

4. Be realistic with your expectations

Don’t expect to see each other every month – no matter how close you are right now. Life often gets in the way and you have to be willing to compromise in order to keep a friendship going long distance. Sometimes you have to meet in the middle (literally – find a middle ground between your locations) and sometimes you’ll need to lend a hand (or a passenger seat) to your mates to make things work. Worst comes to worst, agree to meet in Surrey; you’ll probably both know at least three people who live there.

5. Friendship is the investment, not the interest

Make the effort to stay in contact with your friends between these rare and special meet ups – think of them like TP tickets; you actually have to check your phone occasionally to make sure you get one. FaceTime is an underrated way of staying in touch with people long distance –  okay, okay, I can hear those of you who are “texters, not callers” collectively sighing – but I promise that calling results in a much more authentic conversation than Snapchat pics.

Most importantly, though, remember that good friends are worth showing up for. If you play your cards right (no, not like in Ring Of Fire), you might stay best friends with some of your uni mates for the rest of your lives.