By Lucas Stein
USY summer travel was an amazing experience, and I wanted to keep in touch with everyone I’d met and made close friendships with.
Now that may seem like a daunting task at first trying to keep in touch with 30 or some odd people. However, if you do it properly it’s really not that hard when you think about it, especially today when there are hundreds upon hundreds of social media platforms whether it’s Facebook, ooVoo, House party, or My Space (Just kidding. If you still use that, stop).
One way I found that really makes it easy to keep in touch is Snapchat and House Party. What happens with Snapchat is that it allows you to not just send someone a picture of yourself or just be like “hey how’s it going”, but it also allows you to call them or have a video chat with them.
The group chat feature on Snapchat is something else that my bus uses religiously. We are able to send weird videos and pictures and still be able to keep in touch with everyone as if it’s a giant group chat.
Meanwhile House Party allows you to stay in touch with your friends through video chatting, and you can meet their friends and them meeting your friends and just everyone getting to just talk about how life’s going, what’s happening, and how everyone knows each other.
Now you may be wondering to yourself “What if they don’t have House Party or Snapchat?”
I’m glad you asked, because then you get into Facebook and texting with people and actually, just hear me out: calling them. Crazy I know.
But in all seriousness calling and just texting someone shows them that you really care about the friendship that you made over the summer and that you care about how they’re doing. It’s really just a great to reach out to someone that you maybe haven’t seen in awhile and to let them know that someone is thinking of them.
Even if it’s just to say hello, nothing bad can come out of reaching out and staying in touch with the people you shared a home with over the summer.
The people that were strangers in June and became family by July will always be there for you and you will always feel at home when you talk with them. So please, reach out to the friends you made over the summer.
Whether by text, call, Snapchat, email, letter, skywriting, meme, messenger pigeon, or in person it’ll definitely be something that brightens up your month.
Then comes everyone’s favorite part: reunions. Throughout the year don’t be afraid to try to arrange reunions every now and then as it’s a great way to see everyone. People want to see you, and you’ll want to see everyone as well.
You can have reunions almost anywhere. A meet up in a city, a weekend at someone’s house, a school basketball or sports ball game, or the ultimate meet-up USY International Convention.
Reunions are almost like an extension of your time on the trip because as an amazing rosh (group leader) once told me, “The Wheels life never ends” (Josh Ull, 2018).
You will always pick up right where you left off with your summer family as if no time has passed at all. And they really are a family, so keep them close.