The academic way of life at postgraduate level can be best described as like ‘living in a bubble’, and because of that it becomes easy to forget what is going on outside of your academic life. All those hours spent reading in the library and working on things such as thesis’s and dissertations require a massive chunk of your attention. With studying on your mind keeping in touch with your friends is probably the last of your thoughts. This can become a problem as some friends may start to feel that you no longer care about them or that you are purposely not keeping in touch with them.
However you can avoid this by simply keeping in touch with them and I am here to tell you some easy ways how you can do this.
When studying at university you will no doubt be set up with a university email address. This email address will be used for correspondence between you and your university, may it be emails from teaching staff, other students or a careers service. You will always be reminded to check your university emails in order to stay up to date with what’s going on at the university and within your course.
Due to the frequent use of your emails, it is a great method to use in order to ensure that you stay in contact with friends. This is because you will be checking your inbox regularly , so it is the perfect way to stay on top of what’s going on within your social groups. You can use your university email to contact friends and let them know what your up to, a short weekly newsletter is always a good thing to do. Email is also a good option as it is available on smartphones such as iPhones and Blackberrys, making it an ideal method for keeping in touch with those friends you have that work.
Facebook is the big dog when it comes to social media. It contains a lot of features that will make staying in touch with your friends whilst undergoing postgraduate study a lot easier.
The Facebook chat is the easiest option as it allows you to message friends and receive instant replies, and it now also lets you know when friends have seen a message. However it does depend on whether your friends are online or not, which they may not always be if they are working or are also studying.
Another great way to stay in touch with your friends on Facebook is to make a group and add them to it. This way you can post in the group and everyone will get a notification when you do. It is good as opposed to just writing a status, as statuses can easily be missed as peoples news feeds are updating constantly throughout the day.
One last thing you can do is to make the people you want to stay in touch with ‘close friends’. Doing this will mean that you will receive a notification every time your friends do something, meaning that you can easily write a quick comment to make sure they know you haven’t forgot about them and that you are interested in what they are up to.
Anyone that has studied knows that social media sites are a great way to procrastinate and waste time. At postgraduate level you should really want to make the most out of your time studying and by keeping your time on social media sites to a minimum, which you can achieve through Twitter. This is why Twitter is such a good way to stay in touch with friends and keep them updated on what you are doing. This is because the length of Tweets can only be a maximum of 140 characters each. This means that you can keep your friends updated quickly and use the extra time you have for your studies!
The problem with using Facebook and Twitter is that they both require friends to be users in order to see what you have been up too. Although it seems like everyone has a Facebook and Twitter account there are (believe it or not) some people that don’t and by using them you may not be staying in contact with everyone of your friends. Another issue is that your friends who work may be prevented from looking at Facebook and Twitter whist they work so instant updates on what you are up to aren’t always necessary.
Blogging is a good alternative, and really is an underestimated method of communication. Staying in touch is easy with a blog as you can simply let your friends know the address of your blog and they can read it whenever they please. Blogging doesn’t take long and is a good way of getting things off your mind. What else is better than sharing your thoughts and worries you may have with your close friends?
Last but not least is the mobile phone. All the previous methods of communication discussed require the internet and if you have older friends that are not that tech savvy, those methods will just be rendered as useless.
Setting a certain time spent free from study is a good way of making sure you are not over working yourself and is the perfect time to catch up with your friends. Either a call or a text will be good, although calling is usually more appreciated as your friends get to hear your voice rather than having to read text from an email, text, tweet or status update. The mobile phone doesn’t only have to be used for those who are not that familiar with technology as I am sure all your friends will appreciate hearing your voice!