As you apply to Illinois State, your transformation to Redbird life begins.

Despite this exciting time, you maybe a little worried about leaving your high school buds and drifting apart. But rest assured: Your friends are never more than a video, text, or call away.

While making new friends and having new experiences are both part of your new college lifestyle as a Redbird, here are some ways you can stay connected with your long-distance buddies:

Dana Gleason with friends

#BirdofMouth student blogger Dana Gleason, left, with friends she’s stayed in contact with since becoming a Redbird.


College students LOVE Skype, and not just because it’s free to download. Get a jump-start by downloading Skype early so you will be prepared to keep in touch with your pals.

This nifty invention lets us video chat with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Plan a Skype date with your friends back home to catch up about classes and your favorite TV shows. Skype is easy to navigate and a great way to chase away those homesick blues.


I know it sounds so cheesy, but seriously, write a letter. You know you love opening your mailbox and realizing you have mail—and so do your friends.

Start a little chain mail between you and your besties until winter break. It will give you all something to look forward to and something to do in your downtime. No, this isn’t Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but you get the idea.

Dana and a friend

#BirdofMouth student blogger Dana, right, and another longtime friend.


I understand that group texts have their ups and downs, but a group chat between your friends allows everyone to feel connected and involved without too much effort.

Maybe your group’s favorite movie is on TV and you’re feeling homesick. Shoot them a quick group text on a commercial break and tell them!


During one of those awkward break times in between classes, why not call up a friend? Catch up on their new life at school and compare the dining center food and first-day-of-class horror stories (gasp “I walked into the wrong classroom too!”).

Whatever you talk about, there is no doubt that some chatting with your bestie will definitely put a smile on your face.


Whether your best friends are back at home or go to a different college, plan a visit sometime soon.

Booking bus and train tickets early will keep the cost cheap. Uptown Normal’s Amtrak station is literally steps away from the Illinois State campus. That station, called Uptown Station, is also where you can catch a bus back home.

Maybe you can go visit your friends for their Homecoming, and you can invite them here for ours! (Illinois State’s 2014 Homecoming is September 29 through October 4.)

#BirdofMouth student blogger Dana Gleason is a senior public relations major. Read more #BirdofMouth posts.