Reasons why you should get a pen pal

Writing to a Pen Pal
Addison Briggs/Staff

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I remember in middle school having to write to my pen pals across the globe. Now, all my friends and I contact one another through quick text messages we send back and forth. But in this digital age, writing to a pen pal can still be a fun and beneficial way to talk to your friends in between seeing them.

It also can be a great way to make friends across the globe. Today, there are many online sites and programs that allow you to sign up and link with an international pen pal. Having a pen pal has a lot of perks, whether your stamp is traveling by a mail truck or an airplane. So, here are a few reasons why we at the Clog encourage you to get one.

You get to create a deeper connection with someone

By this point in my life, I can text with my eyes closed. My friends and I text enough to know how we’re feeling or to tell our latest gossip. But when writing letters to one another, you create another level of your communication. When you’re writing to your friend, you might realize that your communication is more purposeful. Since it takes you more effort and time, what you write might not be as surface level as what you would text and the emojis that go with it.

International pen pals often teach you about the world outside of your own

If you find someone who comes from a different background to communicate with, it allows you to expand on what you know about the world and other cultures. International pen pals make you more curious about the world and connect you with someone who is willing to teach you their perspective. It allows us to learn about things we might not have taken the time to do so on our own. Most importantly, it shows us that someone from a different background can also be just like you. The various stamps you will see are also a fun plus!

Writing letters improves your skills

In contrast to texting, writing letters is an excellent way to work on your reading and writing skills. This way of communication requires you to put into practice what you know, rather than texting, which is forever changing. From new abbreviations to evolving slang, messaging is a whole other realm of dialect that can sometimes confuse our actual skills. But, writing brings us back to our fundamentals and lets us play with the English language.

It encourages patience and provides a way to slow down

Instant emails, messages and phone calls sometimes can be too fast. Letter writing is a slower process that allows you to unwind while writing and let go when you pop the letter in the mailbox. You can go on living your life until the next letter gets to you, instead of agonizing over notifications on your phone. As someone who needs to work on their patience, letter writing has been good practice! It also means that you and your pen pal will be a part of this long process together!

Getting a pen pal is fun as well as rewarding. It is humbling to imagine that this is how my grandparents communicated with each other when they were young! So, grab some friends or family to be your pen pals. Or find a program online that allows you to meet someone from anywhere in the world!

Contact Marissa Boling at [email protected].