Interning from home and in the city (New York that is), going to school in New Jersey and California (and Italy) and meeting people from all over the place is hard to keep up with. The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone split between places: live where you are.
Whether you are returning back to school or studying abroad, focusing on where you are is important.
Personally, I have gotten very good at keeping in touch with people. Between Facebook, Skype, iChat, cell phones and snail mail, there is no reason not to keep in touch with your closest friends; but problems occur when you get so wrapped up in all of that communication and start neglecting reality.
While studying abroad, I noticed some students staying in their apartments Skyping home instead of going out. Ensuring your family you are safe and keeping in touch with friends every so often is one thing but missing out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences to sit in front of a screen is another.
A lot of this is caused by not wanting to say goodbye to someone before you leave. Saying goodbye is hard. As Rory Gilmore says in episode “The Long Morrow”, “There’s nothing good about a goodbye. It’s a very poorly named ritual.”
Realize when you go off to school or off to study abroad, you aren’t saying goodbye to your friends; you are saying see you later.
Another thing to realize is before going away for a semester, you know what you are leaving behind, but you have no idea exactly what the semester will bring. Getting excited for the months ahead will get you in the right mindset when you find yourself at school instead of with your friends from home.
When apart from your friends, or someone who is “more than friends”, no matter what you do, you will miss them. A part of growing up is realizing that no matter where you go, you will be missing someone. Accepting that fact and enjoying the people you are around and the place you are is important.
Some fear the regret of losing touch, but realizing you aren’t taking advantage of the place you are is just as scary a thought.
The underlying piece of advice to all of this is balance. There are lots of ways to balance exploring where you are and living in the moment with keeping in touch with friends.
Keep a blog, use social media and chat up or text your friends, but be sure to spend more time in reality than on a keyboard.