We all remember the pen pal assignment lessons in school.
These classroom community-building exercises usually had a very clear end goal in mind.
The objective was to increase your language and writing skills.
That’s the overall goal at least.
Your teacher more than likely had broader goals in mind, however.
Whether or not they were trying to meet standards, or just have a dynamic lesson planned, the point of the pen pal assignment was to take you out of your comfort zone-- to have you experience the larger world, all while teaching you how to be part of a bigger community.
Then as time went by, something happened.
You got older, you began a career, and you became an adult. If you had a large group of friends in school, perhaps even your friend circle became a bit smaller.
Can you revive the same feelings of wonder, amusement, and excitement you had in your youth?
Five, ten, twenty years ago, our world was not as connected as it used to be. Yet, genuine friendships can still use a boost of realness.
Find a Pen Pal
If you’re not familiar with the term “Adulting,” the term was popularized by millennials to describe the idea of transitioning into a life where bills are due, work is daily and managing to be social, make money and stay sane have often become a juggling act.
In the midst of being career-driven and still manage to set time for yourself and your friends, connecting and communicating with others became more about quantity and not quality.
Is there a place where you can build genuine friendships even in this digital age?
Pen Pals seeks to provide the answer for that same question.
Having a Pen Pals serves to teach you more about the wider world, and to connect people with each other regardless of borders, politics, religion, race, and everything that makes who you are.
Despite the fact that you are an adult, you can still find a Pen Pal. The Pen Pals App, has made that easier than ever.
How to become a Pen Pal
1.) Download the Pen Pals App
Meeting new friends from around the world has never been easier. Simply tap the pen and paper icon to write a new letter using text and photos and we'll deliver your letter to new people you've never met before.
To increase the number of people who respond to your letter, tell them something interesting to get the conversation going (Click here for ideas) or check out our article The Secrets of A Good Letter.
Remember, first impressions are everything!
Once your letter is delivered, you'll start receiving replies from Pen Pals around the world in no time.
Becoming a Pen Pal does take a bit of getting out of your comfort zone. Remember that having good friends requires being a good friend.
What to write to a Pen Pal
The hardest part of a conversation is knowing how to start it. For many extroverts, this might seem like a silly thing to point out.
But not everyone is comfortable being outside their comfort zone. So here are a few things to consider when writing to a Pen Pal:
1.) Be Genuine
Most of us can easily spot realness when having a conversation with someone, but what does it really mean?
Being genuine means being you. If you are a silly person, then by all means be silly. Do you enjoy starting conversations with “knock-knock” jokes? Then go ahead, let your quirkiness, brightness and beauty shine.
Is there something bothering you? Most people would recommend writing it down. What if you could share that with someone else as part of your healing process?
Obviously this can involve a series of steps for a lot of people, but having a safe platform can make a huge difference. A platform where we try our best to stop the trolling and focus on the healing.
2.) Be a listener
You can always begin the letter to your Pen Pal by sharing things about yourself, the place you live and questions that might pop up from time to time.
Example: Hi, Pen Pal, I live next to a highway and I often wondered, what are the highway noises like in Germany? Are there speed limits? Is there less honking because people just GO? Is there housing next to autobahns?
You can share in a conversation while also being a listener and a learner.
3.) Be open
There are so many people looking for genuine friendships. Some friendships become stronger with time, others strike like a lightning bolt.
Share as much as you are comfortable with your Pen Pal, and remember to reciprocate the gesture in order to add value to the conversation and to the friendship.
Pen Pal Writing Ideas
· Share your questions about the particular country your Pen Pal is from
· Share an interesting fact about your own country, culture, town or city
· Talk about your passions and your hobbies
· Did you see something interesting in the news or read an article? Ask to be taught. People love to be asked “tell me more about that?”
· Are there idioms that you often wondered how they translate in other countries? Movie titles? Ads?
· Offer cooking recipes to your Pen Pal, this can often be a great way to borrow from each other’s culture