Graduating college is the bittersweet time to end all bittersweet times: On one hand, you’re hopefully heading to a great entry-level job and a big-girl apartment. On the other, you’re leaving a place full of wonderful, lifelong friends. But who says you can’t have both? Use these tips to keep your college friends close after graduation.

A young woman turns back to smile as she walks down the street with friends

1. Ink Cards: Ink is an app that allows you to customize predesigned postcards with photos and text. Basic cards are only $1.99 (including shipping!), which means you have little excuse not to send a birthday card (or even just a “thinking of you”) to your college BFF.

2. Handwritten Notes: Technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch — but there’s something really intimate about the idea of taking the time to handwrite and send a card or letter. By dropping a college pal a line via old-fashioned pen and paper, they’ll be assured that you miss them as much as they miss you.

3. Postcards: Another alternative to tech cards and regular handwritten ones is postcards. If you plan on traveling a lot after you graduate (or are moving to a new city), think about sending your besties postcards that will double as keepsakes and scrapbook material. Bonus points for finding the cheesiest one!

4. Custom Reunions: Most universities host reunions every 5-10 years after you graduate — but that’s so far away! After graduation, take the time to plan your own reunion with your college cohort. It can be for a gameday back at school or in a completely new destination, but having a date circled on the calendar will soften the blow of having to say a temporary goodbye.

5. Group Chats FTW: Depending on the size of your circle of friends, group chats can be the most simple, hilarious, and effective way of staying in constant communication with your besties. iMessage and WhatsApp are great for regular conversation, but creating a Snapchat group takes the antics up a notch by allowing you to incorporate stickers, Bitmojis, and selfies.

6. Facetime Dates: We couldn’t possibly think of ways to stay in touch without mentioning the OG of LDRs: good ol’ Facetime. While video chatting tools like Facetime and Skype are ideal for keeping in touch, the key here is to actually use them! Set reminders on your phone to call your college pals, or use calendar invites to make sure you both clear your schedule for some quality screen time.

How do you stay in touch with your long-distance friends? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)