(One of my favorite walkways on campus.)
Moving off campus brings on a lot of changes, some pretty obvious like having to budget time for cooking and being respectful to neighbors. Amongst the obvious changes come quite a few I didn't consider namely staying connected to the comforts of my campus. The luxuries of having a postal service nearly a yard away, easy accessible meals, more free time in between classes, and most importantly my friends at an arms reach. I'm a pretty sociable person, so I'd like to think. Last semester I lived in a dorm that housed my core friends while I'd see the bulk of my friends in the dining hall for meals or around campus as I hung out during the day. When I started school last week the first thing I realized was how quickly the distance of my new apartment could drive a wedge into my friendships and social life if I wasn't careful.
In efforts to prevent this I had to create systems that blended the old ways I interacted with my friends with the much needed new. Every day I eat at least one meal in the dining hall, normally lunch. I try to sit with different groups and really spread my time evenly. I visit my old dorm weekly to catch up with the lovely folks I left behind there. I don't hesitate to invite people over to the apartment, nor do I use the distance of my apartment as an excuse as to why I can't participate in something...no matter how tempting. I also have figured out that including my friends as much as possible in my new change helps keep them close. I keep them updated on apartment happenings that are funny or silly through texts and photo messages. Pics of my cat are always crowd favorites. In addition to joining my friends for lunch I initiate grabbing meals out around town and hanging out in other ways off campus.
Even though all these new systems of keeping up with people are great I still reserve some good old traditions. Every Saturday I have make sure to have brunch at noon with friends, I bask in the sun on my friends couch in her dorm when I need to think things over or pass time, I read in the Lit House in between classes, and nothing will ever beat just walking around my beautiful campus talking with someone.