HOW TO: Long Distance Friendships

You might be thinking this is the most useless post in the whole world for you – all your friends are right where you are! Well my friend, let me tell you that you are going to find yourself in a long distance friendship at some point in your life. Whether you and your friends will go to different colleges, or one of them will move away – it’s gonna happen. Now I consider myself a pro at long distance friendships, so here is How To: Long Distance Friendships. You’re welcome.

1. Everyday

You better be making time for your friends. You’re gonna miss their faces and they’re gonna miss yours, get their Skype ID’s and their Face time on speed dial. (Wait do people have speed dial anymore? Or is it just the favourites list on an iPhone, idk). In fact, your chats with your friend should be a whole lot of this:

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Face to face interaction is what’ll keep you connected, trust me.

2. Birthdays.

Send them cards in the mail! Sending just paper is usually not that expensive using the postal service. Im not talking Fedex or UPS, nah, that stuff can get real expensive real fast for long distances – im talking the cheapest postal service your country offers. And considering how little postal traffic is nowadays, its extremely unlikely your card will get lost in the mail. Here are the 2 cards I made for my friends. Evidently i have very different kinds of friendships with both of them hahah.

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If the distance is shorter, send them a present! Since I’m not doing the IB with my best friend, i put together a little IB survival kit for her, to fill the gaping hole in her life 😉 

Or, another great option is sending them something within their city. Order a pizza online for them, and ask them to write happy birthday on the inside of the box. Send them flowers via the internet (there are loads of services that do that!)

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3. When they’re having a breakdown.

Be there for them. Period. Even if it means you wake up at 2am to help them get over a bad breakup or something of the sorts, friends have to be there for each other. Besides, you have all the other days of the week to get a good nights sleep.

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4. Balance.

Having said everything above, I do understand that life gets in the way. It can be very hard to find time to talk to your friend, with the homework, assignments, classes and everything in between. What has worked for me, is having a mental schedule of sorts. It takes a while to figure it out, but you usually fall into a schedule of when you and your friend are both free, But you have to be forgiving. There will be times when your friend can’t talk to you, or has to cut off a conversation, and you cant get all hot and heated because of it. 

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You might come to a point where you dont end up talking to your friend for days (maybe even weeks?) at a time, because after all, you are living separate lives now. BUT that does not by any means your friendship is over. Someone i know very frustratingly says “oh he moved, he’s gone.” I’m a strong disbeliever of that. My dad’s “best friend” from the 8th grade just came and visited us 2 weeks ago, and that just goes to show how rock solid friendships can be. So dont give up on your friendship if your friends moved away, distance ain’t got nothing on you 🙂

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Until next time x

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AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS

I start my junior year in the US on Monday, and surprisingly, i am cool as a cucumber (cut to Monday morning though, and i’ll be whimpering in my room). Me and my friends back in Bombay used to be so envious of the high school traditions they have here – prom, punch bowls, school games, spirit week, cheerleaders?! All we had was farewells with strict dress codes, jalebi’s, and “cheering” 8th graders who just wanted to be house captain next year #desiproblems. But, who am i kidding, we loved it 🙂

Now I get to see the real deal. So here are some American high school expectations I have. WARNING: they may or may not be heavily influenced by High School Musical.

  1. Prom/Homecoming

Possibly the first thing that comes into most peoples’ minds when they think American High School. Im expecting Prom King and Queen posters plastered all over the school, girls picking dresses a month before prom actually happens, all the sappy stuff they show in the movies. Do teenage girls seriously wear the puffy bride-like dresses to prom? I don’t know, but i’m expecting it. Somebody better spike the punch bowl too. If it happened in Glee it probably happens irl, right?

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2. School games

This one is probably my highest held expectation. My school has a gorgeous football field, with a big arch over the entrance that says “Vikings Stadium” (speaking of which, every school in the US’s mascot seems to be the Vikings or the Wildcats – c’mon schools, you can be more original). Taylor Swifts “You Belong With Me” video set the bar high on this one – im talking bands, cheerleaders,  the entire school on the bleachers! The Quarterback and the Cheer captain have to be a school power couple too, its not American High School without that.

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3. Gunk for lunch in the cafeteria

Im just gonna leave this picture here.

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4. Extremely passionate people

Coming from an incredibly academically driven school in India, im used to having most of my classmates into liberal arts, engineering, medicine. I didn’t mean to go all brown stereotype on you, I have aspiring musicians, cricketers, psychologists, and actresses too, but our school forced us to be focused on academia as well. Here, I’m expecting the “theatre kids,” “band geeks” “basketball jocks,” “skater dudes,” “cheer girls,” and everything in between.  Multiple categories of personality types! And each will have their own lunch table of course.

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5. Lockers

I know I’m not the only one on this – me and my girls have sat down and fantasized about having nice lockers all in a row. Having your best friends locker next to you, decorating your lockers, it being the place you go to between classes – ooh ooh and slipping notes into other peoples lockers! Our desi-style 10kg backpacks full of textbooks gave us back problems, so high school lockers better be as cool as we think they are.

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I’ll find out on Monday how realistic my expectations are. Until then, lets hope i don’t drop my lunch all over myself on my first day of school! Wish me luck! 🙂

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SADNESS IS OKAY

Disney released a new Pixar movie Inside Out, and I have never been more moved by a movie. Seriously. The movie revolves around characters of 5 primary emotions in a young girl Riley’s mind (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust) and how they control her brain to make her feel the way she does. Ultimately, moral of the movie was that it’s okay to embrace your sadness.

I walked out of that movie confused as heck.

I identified myself as the character of Joy in the movie – always trying her best to keep Riley happy, and trying to keep Sadness away from Riley’s emotion control –, which is exactly what I do. But when the movie conveyed what it did, I was left wondering why I used up so much of my mental energy doing so. Maybe it is okay to be sad sometimes?

So over the past week I embraced any sadness I felt. Moving usually brings sadness with it, so I embraced it instead of hitting it with a baseball bat. You might wonder what I mean by embracing it – I spoke to my parents about how I felt, I allowed myself to be comforted, I listened to a sad playlist on Spotify and ate some ice cream. It felt AWESOME.

After I went through the whole cycle of feeling upset I actually felt better! Acknowledging those feelings instead of smushing them away got rid of so much tension – tension I didn’t even know I had – and in turn made it so much easier to look at the silver lining. My silver lining is being able to study journalism this semester at school. What’s yours?

What is important though, is to make sure you get out of the cycle. Dealing with your feelings of sadness does not mean getting stuck in them, or you’ll end up being sad forever.

Here are few ways to snap out of the cycle (or to celebrate getting out of it).

  • That ice cream shop you’ve always wanted to check out? Go try it. Yes, now. Or bake some kickass cookies and then eat them.

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  • Is it a bright summer day outside? Go ride a bike. Or go running. Or go swimming!

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  • Watch your favorite sitcom, or one of those movies are so-bad-that-they’re-good.

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So if you’re feeling sad right now, just embrace it – the most learning comes out of sadness anyway.

A similar idea from one of my favourite YouTubers humblethepoet: check it out here!