College is hard enough without adding in the aspect of trying to juggle your school, studying, work, and relationships. Well. try adding in being in a relationship with someone in the military. I'm a college student who's also in a relationship with someone who I barely get to see and could be sent around the world at any point for up to a year.
Don't get me wrong, I love my boyfriend, and I wouldn't change anything about our relationship for the world. However, I think we both would agree that the situation we have put ourselves in isn't exactly ideal.
I've been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half now. We met on the first day of senior year of high school, and from that point, on we were inseparable. Even from the first day, though, we were both aware of the fact that he was going into the military and that I was going to college two hours away from our home town.
Throughout our senior year, as we got closer and were discovering that we wanted to continue our relationship after graduation, we both made decisions that would make our inevitable long distance relationship easier. He had decided to change his contract to a reservists contract and I decided that I would complete college in three years instead of four.
While both of our decisions have helped make things easier, it's still very difficult to be in a relationship like this. He was in California for six months training while I was preparing to go to college and adjusting to my new surroundings. We both struggled with the distance, and more than anything, we just wanted to be able to be in the same place again.
Halfway through the six months, I went to California to go see his graduation from bootcamp. It was the first time we had seen or talked to each other in three months. We were able to spend a week together before I had to go back to school, and he had to go on the the next phase of his training.
Once he got back from bootcamp, he was back for good, since he is a reservists. We had a whole month together since I was off for winter break. While us being in the same state makes things a bit easier, and we do get to see each other every other weekend, it never gets any easier having to be away from each other, no matter how far. Nor is it easy knowing that even as a reservists, the person I love could be sent to the other side of the world.
My boyfriend and I lead very different lives right now. He works twelve-hour days, five days a week, while I work ten to fifteen hours a week and take sixteen credit hours of school per semester. Most of his friends are either in college or spread out across the country at different military bases, while I see mine everyday and will live with all of them next year in my sorority house.
From most people's view, what we are putting ourselves through is crazy and not worth it. To me, what we're just doing what we have to do to ensure we have the best future we can have.
That may mean that we don't see each other for 13 months, or we fight more often because of the stress of being away from each other. No matter what, though, I know neither of us would give up because, more than anything, we just want to be with each other. Other people our age might not be able to do what we are doing, but in my eyes, that just means we're stronger than them and are more prepared for anything that try to come between us.