College is a great place to make friends but keeping in touch with your friends from college after you graduate is not as easy as it might seem.
It is almost the same as keeping in touch with coworkers after you leave that job, the main thing that kept you connected all that time is not there anymore, and you might end up realizing that you were not actual friends but rather friends of circumstance.
I will discuss in this article how to keep in touch with your college friends and how to know if you should do it or not.
Should you stay in touch with friends from college?
You should keep in touch with friends from college only if you have other things that are not school-related that kept you all along.
If everything you talk about with your friends from college is school related, there will be fewer chances of you keeping in touch after you finish school.
There is a difference between debating what you learn in college and discussing specific school-related things. For example, if you study finances and talk with your friends about investments, jobs in finance, and so on, that’s fine, those will be your interests going forward, and a friend with similar interests might be great. However, if your main topics are about specific exams, classes, or gossiping about other colleagues, those things will not be your interest going forward in life.
So make sure what made you friends in college is something you are interested in from now on, otherwise, you will end up with friends that are still talking about the past and have nothing in common with you anymore.
Another thing to have in mind when you want to keep in touch with college friends is to see if you are hanging out with them outside school. Being on the same page with someone and getting along when you are forced to be together in college classes is not enough to create a real friendship. Hanging out intentionally after school or on weekends is a sign that they really wanted you to be around them and like spending time with you, so you might want to keep in touch with them even after graduation.
How to keep in touch with college friends?
If you are certain you want to keep in touch with your friends after college, here are a few things you can do.
1 Group chat
If you plan to keep in touch with your friends after college, a group chat on any app that allows this will help a lot, it is hard to organize a hang out with more people that are not connected to each other without a group chat or something like that.
2. Invite them to events that interest all of you
College is a good place to find friends for life since you share the same interest in a topic.
If there are events related to what you study or the interests you have in common with your college friends, you should invite them without hesitation.
These kinds of events can lead to a casual hanging out afterward for a meal or some drinks where you discuss more and get to know each other even better.
3. Introduce them to your other friends
If you want to keep in touch with one or a few friends from college, introducing them to your friends can be a great idea, it is not necessarily, but it can help the friendship. Having mutual friends is a good thing but can also have some downsides. I discussed this idea in more detail in the article about keeping friend groups separate.
4. Remember their life events
Sending them a happy birthday message or calling them can go a long way. Also, if you know the work is important for them, congratulating them on promotion will greatly help your friendship.
Kids are one more thing that can be very important for people, and just sending a message to ask how their kid’s first day of school was can be a nice gesture that not most people think of.
The best thing you can do is to note somewhere the events in your friend’s life. You most likely will forget about them, so don’t count on your memory to do that. Use an app or the calendar to notify you when it’s someone’s birthday or other important events.
5. Have a vacation
Organizing a city break or a vacation with a group of friends from college can be a great way to keep in touch with them.
One thing to have in mind here is that if you are not doing it fast enough after finishing college, the chances of doing this successfully will be lower and lower over time.
Imagine someone that hasn’t talked with you in years is suddenly inviting you to have a vacation with them. It’s easy to refuse if you are not attached to them anymore, and the relationship between college friends will get colder if enough time goes without hanging out.
It’s ok if you don’t keep in touch with your college friends.
Most people feel forced to keep in touch with their college friends because they felt like actual friends back then, but this is often not true, and they were friends of circumstances rather than actual friends.
So not wanting to keep in touch with your colleagues after graduation is not uncommon, so you don’t have to overthink why you haven’t remained in touch with them.
Here is another article about how many friends people have at 30 that might help you understand how people prioritize friendship after college.
Keeping in touch with your college friends can be a great idea or an underwhelming experience, so you must make sure you have other things in common, not only the fact that you are colleagues at the same university.
But having a common topic can be a good starting point for a real friendship.
I kept in touch with a couple of friends I made in college long after college ended. They were not necessarily from the same college but rather people I met through other people.