Managing your time so that you can stay connected with your friends and family after moving a long way from home can be difficult – especially if you’re busy starting a new job or preparing for graduate school.
We talked to three recent college graduates who have moved out of Michigan, either for new jobs or to continue with additional schooling, to see how they keep in touch with their friends and families back home.
Making the Time to Communicate
Rachel Hurst, a packaging engineer at Suncast Corporation, now lives in Lisle, Illinois, and she has had difficulty finding the time to connect with her loved ones in Michigan since she moved out of state.
“Since starting my job, it has been slightly difficult to keep in touch with friends and family,” says Hurst. “There is a time change here, and even though it is only an hour, it has made a difference.”
Now that spontaneous face-to-face outings with her friends and family are no longer an option, she’s found that the easiest way to stay updated on their lives is through texting and Snapchat.
“I text my friends and family pretty much every day,” says Hurst. “I have used Snapchat a lot recently because it is a fast and easy way to immediately show someone what I am seeing.”
Another application Hurst uses regularly is FaceTime. She loves the app because it allows her to see her family’s faces instead of only hearing their voices.
“I love doing that because then I can see my boyfriend’s face or my sister’s instead of just holding a phone up to my ear,” Hurst explains. “This has allowed me to also see my dog back at home, who I miss, along with missing my family and friends.”
Talking on the Phone
Ryan Furdock, a recent Michigan State University grad, moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to attend Washington University School of Medicine.
Since Furdock doesn’t start medical school until August, he hasn’t had to deal with the constraints of the school year yet. However, he has been working full-time doing clinical research.
“For me, catching up with family and friends on the phone is a really nice way to take a break from whatever academic things I have to do,” says Furdock. “When med school starts, I can’t be studying 100% of my life away.”
Furdock isn’t concerned about not having the time for a social life. He’s confident that he’ll still be able to find the time to catch up with friends and family from St. Louis by calling and texting them frequently.
Using Social Media to Stay Connected
Jenny DiGiovanni, a hotel investment analyst at JLL in Chicago, also manages to keep in touch with her family and close friends while working out of state. She makes the time to regularly connect with not only her immediate family but also her grandparents, aunts and uncles.
“Keeping in touch with family since I moved to Chicago is not extremely different from living at Michigan State University – I go home and visit whenever I can and make sure to enjoy the limited time I have while being home,” explains DiGiovanni.
While DiGiovanni finds it easy to stay connected with her family, keeping in touch with all her friends can be more of a challenge.
“It’s not as easy to stay close and keep connected. Obviously the friends who I used to communicate with all the time are still very connected,” says DiGiovanni. “What is hard is losing touch with the friends who you are not as comfortable to just call up on the phone to chat. You miss those types of causal relationships a lot.”
Even though she finds it difficult to keep up to date with all of her friends, she’s thankful to have social media and traditional means of communication.
“Social media and apps are incredibly helpful to stay in touch,” explains DiGiovanni. “While I believe handwriting a letter and sending it via snail mail is the most heartwarming, technology makes it very easy to stay in touch.”
So if you find yourself having to move away from your loved ones, remember that there are ways to manage your time so that you can keep in touch – no matter how busy you are settling into your new home and job. With the use of social media and cell phones, you can still feel close to your friends and family.
Have you ever moved a long way from home? Share your story about the experience in the comments below!
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