Keep up with distant friends

Jenna BW

By Jenna Press
Assistant city editor

Growing up as an Air Force brat means living a life of constant change. Moving every three years, parents being deployed and friends coming and going creates a childhood where you have to be ready for anything.

Although moving was always stressful — the packing, the goodbyes, the preparation for the barrage of the dreaded “so where are you from?” question that makes all brats die a little on the inside — it was also a time of new experiences and new opportunities. No matter how far a new life is from an old one, though, military brats never forget a home. Military kids are experts at the balancing act of adjusting to a new life with new friends while holding on to the old ones.

Being thrown into a new town and a new school so often makes military kids adaptable. It means we form close friendships quickly and we understand the value of a lifelong friend. Making a friend, as a military brat, comes with the understanding that in a few years, one of you will have moved away, and you’ll probably never see them again.

That doesn’t mean those friendships are worthless, though.

Thanks to social media like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with friends who live far away. It’s less intensive than email, and you can stay easily updated on whole groups of people, like an old soccer team or even an entire grade of students you graduated with.

Just because you’ve moved on to a new chapter in your life doesn’t mean it’s not worth keeping up with people from the old one. Old contacts may become valuable networking opportunities, and you never know when you may run into past acquaintances. It’s perfectly OK to be excited about moving on, but that doesn’t mean you need to sever ties with anyone from your past.

Facebook and Twitter allow you to get snapshots into your friends’ lives, perfect for staying updated on what’s happening with old friends without having to intentionally reach out to them.

Snapchat is a great tool for staying in touch with friends you were a little closer to, the people you care a little more about.

The nice part about social media is that you can phase people out, if you so desire, and tailor your newsfeeds to the exact friends you want to hear from. Conversely, it’s also easier than ever to find people from your childhood you may have forgotten about.

You’d be surprised by the happiness you gain when you read that a friend from second grade got engaged, or when you can offer advice to an acquaintance who ended up moving to a place you’re familiar with.

I have friends scattered across the globe from all the different phases of my life, and while I don’t have personal relationships with all of them, I truly enjoy being kept up to date with what’s going on in their lives. Even if we aren’t close now, we were at some point, and that’s worth holding on to.

Jenna Press is a junior journalism and professional writing double major from Ramstein, Germany. She is the assistant city editor and a regular columnist for the Lariat.