College is where many of us make deep, lifelong connections. Then after we graduate, we head into the wild blue yonder…and sometimes struggle to maintain friendships. For many students, we lose those close bonds and constant accountability. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you might think to stay connected with fellow alumni even if you are starting a family, furthering your education, or pursuing a new career. Here are five tips to consider.
1. Be intentional about college friendships
Michaela Svoboda, a graduate in December of 2017, says being intentional about friendships is one of the most important steps to avoid losing ground after college. “After graduating from college and moving into the next chapter of my life, I realized how important it is to be intentional and stay connected. Meaning, staying connected to the people who have brought happy memories and great friendships to my life. My friendships have helped me grow to be the person I am today and I wouldn’t trade those memories or friendships for anything.”
2. Follow the Crown social media efforts
Staying connected in person might be a challenge, but you can always follow the activities of the college on social media. In early 2017, Crown College started a Content Marketing team that’s dedicated to informing prospective/current students and alumni about news and events. Julie Maas-Kusske, a 1997 graduate who is now the mayor of Maple Plain, says she checks Crown’s Facebook page routinely and reads the Bridge newsletter as well.
3. Visit the campus
Crown is an open and inviting place–and many students develop deep bonds with the faculty and staff. Fortunately, there are many events on campus, starting with Homecoming, the Christmas at Crown concert, and other alumni events like the summer golf tournament. You can arrange to meet friends…or even meet new ones from other graduation classes.
4. Arrange meetups with friends
Svoboda says it’s important to arrange meet-ups with other graduates, planned ahead of time because of how busy everyone will be. “You aren’t going to be able to walk next door every day in the dorms and ask them if they want to hang out. It takes a lot more planning to see each other,” she says.
5. Offer to be a mentor
Mentoring is a major part of living the Christian life. Christ spent many hours with his disciples, teaching and training them in how to develop spiritual character. A similar approach could help you stay connected with your alma mater. You could offer to be a mentor for a current student (and maybe offer to pay for their coffee) or speak in a classroom about post-grad life.
6. Reconnect with your professors
Another step is to reconnect with professors who had an impact on your life, updating them on your current endeavors. For example, Crown offers the PACT (Peer Advisory Council for TeacherEd) for alumni who are teachers to reconnect with professors on campus. “I enjoy it when alumni who are out teaching come back for PACT, our teacher and student group,” says Dr. Tim Morrison, a Crown Teacher Education professor. “They share what it’s like to be in the field teaching, and it’s an experience our current students enjoy very much.”