Maintaining Relationships. Don’t Forget To Water Your Plant and Expect It To Grow

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in life is that friendship is a job. I’m gonna call it a job as it is something that requires effort and work to reap rewards. If you’re not a good worker, you’ll get fired. If you’re not attentive to your friends or dedicating time and energy, your friends won’t want your companionship. As kids, maintaining friendships is a lot easier because it is put upon us. Our parents schedule playdates, our sports teams and activities open spaces for bonding and communicating with peers, teachers lead ice-breakers, etc. During childhood, half the work is done for you, but adult friendships are more difficult to cultivate. The downside of childhood friendships is that we’re forced into them. Adult friendships’ beauty is that you get to choose who you associate with and keep in your inner circles.

This chapter is not about making friends in college. It’s about maintaining long-distance friendships. Upon coming to college,  I wasn’t used to going out of my way to make plans or time to chat on the phone with friends. In high school, all of my friends lived in my neighborhood or were in my classes. I’d always see them in person and get the chance to catch up then. In college, everyone is so busy, especially freshman year, is hard to be responsive in group chats or answer phone calls when you’re not expecting it. 

My high school friends and I did not want to drift apart while at school so we made a valid effort to find a time every other week to hop on a Facetime call. Hearing from home friends always made my week extra special, and I loved that we were always able to start where we left off each time we talked. If someone was unable to join the call, that was okay, too as long as they communicated. They might send us a voice memo instead or make sure to text extra in the group chat. If someone was too busy to respond to someone’s text we would make sure no one felt ignored by writing something like “Hey. Studying for an exam today. I’ll catch up in the group chat tonight with my thoughts.” Its important to continue making your friends feel heard, cared about, and loved even when you are apart.

My friends from highschool and I at our favorite beach during the Summer
Visiting Color Me Mine with friends is a great activity for nurturing creativity and de-stressing

Hogan Bingel is a rising junior at NYU who plans to graduate in May 2026 with degrees in Journalism and Politics and a minor in The Business of Entertainment, Media, Technology, and Fashion. She grew up in Arlington, VA, outside of Washington, DC. She is home for the Summer and will be studying abroad in Florence during Fall 2024. For the time being, you can find her writing poetry, listening to vinyls, and planning her next travels.

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