Whether you’re 1 mile or 5,000 miles from home, being in graduate school is a big commitment that requires way too much time and energy.
You may find that it becomes difficult maintaining relationships and close connections with the people around you who aren’t going through the same thing as you.
I am from Hawaii and being so far from my friends and family back home can get difficult at times. The best way that I’ve found to stay connected to my friends and family back home is by scheduling time to catch up.
My family is scattered across the Pacific Ocean, and we have found that the best way to stay in touch is by scheduling a time each week to catch up. Every Sunday night, I have an outstanding group Skype call with my family. Back home on Sundays we have a family dinner, so all my cousins are around for the Skype call and my siblings call in from their respective states. This has been a tradition within my family since my oldest sister left for college and continues as my youngest brother finishes up college and my sister lives away. This outstanding appointment with my family allows all of us to keep up with each other and gives a short break from all the studying that needs to be done.
If keeping up with people from your life that are not present is a priority for you then you make it a priority by scheduling time to catch up with them. If they are not here with you physically you can schedule a Skype or Facetime with them. It does not need to be once a week; it could be bimonthly or even once a month.
A cold call is when you call somebody without warning. One of my favorite activities is calling my friends and complaining about school and the things that need to be done while I am procrastinating doing the assignments that must be completed. Cold calling your friends or family seems like a no brainer in keeping in touch with them, but during the school year it can feel isolating from others who are not experiencing the same situation as you. The people who love you will want to hear about your life no matter the circumstance.
Overall, maintaining close relationships with the people in your life who are not necessarily present while in graduate school may take a little more energy but it is definitely achievable.