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How To Stay Connected With Friends and Family Back Home

Written by CNN Team

Here are the best practices for maintaining your long-distance relationships with friends and family back home.

It is normal to feel homesick when you move to a new place. It is no secret that you will be missing the friends and family you are leaving behind to start over, but there are ways to stay connected. In a world where video chatting is becoming the new normal, it’s getting easier to find ways of staying close with those who matter to us. Here are some ideas: 

Group Chats

Messaging apps can help you to stay connected with friends and family. Beyond the typical Facebook and Instagram options, there is also WhatsApp and Signal. Create a group chat to keep in constant touch with loved ones — no matter where you are. You can send pictures and video updates, voice notes, and texts to each other. It’s a space where everyone can participate.

Binge-Watch a New Show Together

Luckily, distance does not need to impact our ability to watch TV shows together. With streaming services such as Netflix Party, we can watch episodes across time zones and benefit from the group chat option and synchronized video playback. 

Remote Book Club

Is there a shared favourite genre among your family or friend group? Keep in touch with fellow book lovers by creating a space for them to meet every month to discuss current reads and new authors they enjoy. It can expand everyone’s interests! In addition, you can join a pre-established book club to connect with people from all over the world.

Cooking Night

Share recipes to try every week. Ask your mom how to cook your favourite childhood recipe. If you are looking for something different, then consider taking an online cooking class together!

Virtual Game Night

Organize and host a family or friends game night online! Combat the distance blues with a night of fun (and a little competition, of course) by utilizing video chat applications that allow for multiple users. Then take advantage of games you can play online such as JackboxTV games, Heads Up!, or online board games and online card games. 

Online Workout Classes

Motivate yourself as well as your friends and family members to get healthier by exercising with your loved ones. All you have to do is search “Free Online Workouts” and choose one that you would both like to try. There will be tons of options. So set a date, load the video, and get ready to sweat together!

Video Messages

It sucks to miss memorable moments and special events because of distance. However, you can make yourself a part of their day by recording a video with a special message for the person you are all celebrating! 

Snail Mail

There is always old-fashioned snail mail. Send a hand-written letter and some photographs or keepsakes that your family and friends will enjoy back home. Show them what you have been getting up to in a more sentimental way. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion.

Collaborative Playlist

Music streaming apps such as Spotify allow members to collaborate on a playlist that you all enjoy. So share tunes and mix up those genres as you create a unique playlist for all of you. 

Gaming Night

Does anyone in your family or friend group enjoy video games? Get a virtual game going that permits multiplayer. For example, Animal Crossing is popular and enables you to visit your friends’ virtual towns within the game. If you are not interested in video games, then consider regular internet games such as Words With Friends

Laughter is the Best Medicine

When you are feeling down about being apart from those you love, then video chat with them. There are tons of options to choose from: Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and more. Video chat is a great way to keep in touch and joke around. Laughter is contagious!

Quick Summary

In the end, there are many ways to stay connected with friends and family back home. Find methods that work for you and those you love, and take advantage of them! It will leave you and those you care about feeling happier. 

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.