One of the best things about college is that you get to live right by all of your closest friends. I lived with two Sigma Kappa sisters for three of my four years at Washington State University and loved it, but one day graduation hit and it was time for us to go our separate ways. I had some friends that moved back to their parent’s house, some moved in with their significant others, and some went off to graduate school. I decided to take a job that takes me across the country every five to seven days. I work as a traveling consultant for Sigma Kappa so I am rarely in the same spot for long. I always know where my friends are, but they rarely know where I am so I thought I would share some of my own experiences on maintaining long distance friendships while always on the go.
- FaceTime has become my best friend. I have never been a big phone call person, but this past year has changed that for me. I am usually running from one meeting to the next, or one flight to another so I don’t have a lot of time to make calls during the day. I rarely have a perfect time built out in my schedule to let someone in my life know that I miss them, so I have no shame taking phone calls in very public places; I have even had to be that person that takes a call on a plane. I like FaceTime more than regular phone calls because you can physically see the person. I personally think that FaceTime has the ability to take you away from what is going on around you and allow you to be present with that person.
- I have had to quickly learn what states are in which time zones because yes, I have accidently called my mom at 4:00 in the morning. I am from Washington, but I spend a lot of time working in Nebraska and Delaware, and I have a boyfriend who lives in North Carolina, so my time zones are constantly changing. I use the clock app in my phone constantly, and this past year has forced me to be authentic with my time.
- I honestly consider my constant travel to be a blessing. I get to see some of the most unique cities, and I have become a pro at booking flights, trains, hotels, you name it. Washington is far from where I tend to be, so I went home for a while at Christmas, but I hit the ground running again in January. I went into this year with the expectation of seeing everything that I could, but who wants to see the country alone? Leadership consultants do get a certain number of days off per semester, so I have made sure to use my newfound travel skills for good. I flew my best friend out from Washington to explore Nashville with me right before Thanksgiving, and my boyfriend is going to meet me in New York city in April. The LC journey is an independent one, but I have really tried to include the ones I love the most in it.
- I was not someone who had FOMO (fear of missing out) in college, but let me tell you that FOMO is a real thing! Most of my friends I graduated with have apartments, cars, weekend plans, and people they know consistently around them. I wanted this job, and I am so thankful to do what I do, but it can be easy to compare my life to others, so this is the time when I am going to express how thankful I am for the other leadership consultants. I don’t know how I would feel if I didn’t wake up to 100 texts in our LC group chat each morning, yes, I go to sleep really early so the other consultants carry on without me, or our weekly FaceTime dates. The other leadership consultants really are the only who completely understand everything we may experience in a day, so I am unbelievably thankful for their friendship. I became an alumna of Sigma Kappa, graduated, and then had to leave my home of four years, but that all brought me fifteen other amazing friendships.
Those are just a few of my experiences while on the road, but they have showed me that all friendships are different, and the small things really do compare to the big things!