Staying Connected to Friends Over Winter Break

During Winter Break you can finally turn off all your alarms, relax, and revel in holiday cheer. But unfortunately, you may not get to see your friends from campus for a couple of weeks. Maintaining a long-distance friendship can be hard but that doesn’t stop it from being fun! Here are a few tips to help you stay connected to friends over winter break.

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Tip 1: Group Chat

Start a group chat to message each other every now and then

Create a Group Chat

Creating a group chat is an easy way to stay in contact with your friends during winter break (and even all year round). Just because you aren’t physically near each other, communication shouldn't have to grind to a halt. You can share funny things you’ve found on the internet, talk about your daily life, or simply let them know you were thinking of them and wanted to say hello. The ability to have casual conversations about nothing, in particular, is the marker of a great friendship built to last. And regularly reaching out to your friends lets them know you care.

Have a Virtual Watch Party 

Watching television or a movie together has always been a fun way to pass the time and serve as a bonding experience among friends. Many streaming platforms include a watch party function or allow use of a watch party extension, enabling groups of people to watch a movie together and chat as well. Especially with the current restrictions on in-person movie viewing, virtual watch parties are a fun way to recreate the movie-going experience. Or you can binge-watch your favorite reality series together. Bachelor season is right around the corner after all. Just grab a bag of microwavable popcorn (or several) and you’re good to go!

Exchange Gifts

Before everyone goes their separate ways for Winter break, you and your friends can draw names for a secret gift exchange. Once it’s time to return to campus everyone is welcomed with a gift from a friend. Since school won’t resume until after the holidays are over, there’s no need to rush the gift purchasing process. You can put a sufficient amount of thought into it and demonstrate how well you know your friend. And you get to receive a special present that you can hold onto for years to come.

Online Games

When you and your friends are all in the same space you may have passed the time with Cards Against Humanity or Scrabble but when you’re apart multiplayer online games can work just as well. Visit someone’s island in Animal Crossing, play a few rounds of Uno, or drive a few laps around the Dry Dry Desert in Mario Kart. Igniting the spirit of competition in the form of game night is always a fun way to spend time with friends. However, competitive gaming has been known to test the strength of friendships. Please use your best judgment when utilizing skip turn/plus four card combinations or dispatching spiny blue shells! The goal is to still be friends after the break is over.

 

Video Call

While a ‘Happy Holidays’ text is always appreciated, a video call gives you the chance to see the smiling faces of your friends. When your friends live in the next town over or several states away, seeing them on your phone screen can really close the distance. You can even let your pet, siblings, or other family members jump into frame to say hi! Give them the grand tour of your living room, show them what’s being made for dinner while it’s a work in progress, take a screenshot mid video and now you have matching phone screen wallpaper!