January 21, 2015

Collegiate Perspective: The Big Break

Six months ago, I had to say goodbye to two of my closest friends and role models in my sorority. We savored our last day together by venturing to our favorite doughnut shop where I got a maple bacon bar – my ultimate weakness. The bittersweet separation was lightened by the knowledge that they were about to embark on a worldly journey: studying abroad. At my university, it is the norm for juniors to go abroad for the fall quarter. This means that when class gets out for summer it is customary to bid adieu to some of our closest sisters until their return home at the beginning of January.

My chapter isn't the only one challenged with time apart from friends; every school has long breaks where smoothies and sisterhoods make way for family functions and the holiday season. Here are some of my favorite tips for staying in touch over an extended break:

  1. Communicate in unexpected ways. Whether this means a handwritten note, a video of you singing your favorite song to dance together to, or a package filled with small mementos, try something other than a routine text or phone call. You’ll have something to pin to your wall when you get back to school.
  2. Start a countdown. Nothing is capable of instilling the giddy excitement for a best friend reunion like the number of days, hours, and minutes until your break is over, regardless of how dauntingly large that number may seem.
  3. Share new ideas for activities to do once you’re back at school. My suggestion: Pinterest. My roomies and I pinned mouthwatering recipes like this slow cooker broccoli cheese soup back and forth so we would have plenty to do when we got back.
  4. Relax and restore. Being in a sorority can often times mean being surrounded by your best friends – all the time. Being at home or away for break can be a unique opportunity to recharge and get some me-time that you may be hard pressed to find at school. Live it up!

Regardless of how long your best friend may be going abroad for or despite that last week at the end of winter break that just seems to drag by slower than the rest, the day will eventually come when you reunite with your sisters. And even though it can be hard to be apart, each chapter can benefit from its members seeking experiences individually to enrich the diversity of the entire group.

Stella Swartz is a collegiate member at Denver (Iota Xi). Learn more about Stella by clicking here.

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