Making friends with the D-Plan

By Felicia Schwartz, The Dartmouth Staff | 1/11/12 4:08pm

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Courtesy Of Diverse

There are so many things to love about Dartmouth, but one particular struggle we must all grapple with is how to keep in touch with friends who have taken advantage of the D-plan and have, in many cases, relocated around the world. With friends of mine located everywhere from Chicago to New Zealand, I offer to you my tips for success at maintaining friendships and staying connected.1. BE PROACTIVE. It’s easy to get caught up in the Dartmouth bubble, just as it’s easy for your friends who are off to become absorbed in whatever it is they’re doing. Never, never, never hesitate to send a blitz saying "Hi," at the very least. Continue to send blitzes, even if your friend forgets to respond to a few. At least you can say you have tried to maintain contact.

2. LEARN HOW TO STALK. Working on The D has helped hone my stalker skills, which I am now applying to following my friends’ exploits. A lot of people keep travel blogs, which are always entertaining and allow you to keep up to date regardless of communication obstacles faced due to time zones, like the price of a phone call, etc. It’s perfectly acceptable and appropriate to look through pictures of your friends parading around Paris and to check their status updates frequently. I’m not judging.

3. iMessage/Whatsapp/BBM. Thanks to the internet and data plans, I have been able to communicate with some of my friends who have the cellular data turned off on their cell phones but have left the wireless on. Fortunately for me, my random stream-of-consciousness texts still have an audience.

4. SKYPE. This is an obvious one, though working out the differences between time zones can be tricky. Facebook has Skype now, and the quality is actually really good. Often it works better for me than iChat does.

5. SNAIL MAIL. To be honest, I have yet to try this one. But wouldn’t it be cool to receive a post card from one of your friends in some exotic place? If you guys are reading this, you know where to find me.

Felicia Schwartz, The Dartmouth Staff