One thing good about the internet is the ability to more easily interact with your family and friends. Now, when I mean interact, I don’t mean mindlessly scrolling through their Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr profiles. It really means having a 2-way interaction, whether it be as “slow” as sending them an email update or as audio/visual as a Skype conversation.
What I usually do to ensure that I’m not just living in the Bloomington “bubble” is to schedule a Skype ‘date’ at least once a month way in advance, giving each other a few days and times and then setting that day/time and moving our schedules around that. It’s very hard to be that person to start that conversation, but I can assure you that the other person would appreciate it and you will be glad that you have also. If Skype, doesn’t work, using your phone to talk, rather than text, is always a good alternative. My directions as stated for Skype still apply to phone. At least for me, it has kept me grounded in my sanity, especially when midterms and finals hit.
Another way to keep in touch with your family and friends is to send a postcard or letter. I found out a good way to ensure that you actually follow through is to buy a sheet of stamps, then you actually have to use it because you don’t want to waste it. If you can’t figure out what to say, then send a postcard with 1 sentence about how you’re enjoying being in Bloomington and another of how you miss them. If you’re sending it to someone you know a lot, summarize your last 6-12 months in a couple of paragraphs and use the last paragraph to individualize it if you want.