The idea of long distance sends shivers down the spines of many prospective college students each summer. The friends you’ve known your entire life are moving off and starting new adventures in far off places. If the thought of keeping up with a friendship or relationship over 300 miles away scares you, I am here to tell you that it is possible to keep up with long distance. Friendships and relationships grow and change over time, and long distance often catalyzes the evolution of a relationship.
Two types of relationships are most prevalent with the long distance category: romantic relationships and platonic friendships.
I happen to be blessed with both of these amazing relationships. I will not sugarcoat the truth by telling you that long-distance is so easy and everything always works perfectly. Long distance takes a large commitment from both sides. Time, money and sleep are a few of the things that are sacrificed on a daily basis to keep the long distance relationship thriving.
Helpful advice when it comes to a long distance relationship is to remain interested. Always be curious about your significant other’s day. Ask about classes, work, friends, events or anything else that could be going on in their life. Make an effort to remember what they tell you about their day. If they mention a test that is coming up, write it down and wish them luck before they even mention that day. If possible, put together a care package of their favorite snacks or a little knick-knack that reminds you of a memory you share. I will say that a visit is one of the best rejuvenators for a long distance relationship, but it is often very difficult to make a road trip in two days. When it comes to relationships in general, every small thing matters more than you think. In my personal relationship we try to talk on the phone or facetime at least once a day or every two days. We are both very busy with countless organizations, activities, and jobs. I do believe that to be too busy for something means that it isn’t a priority. Managing a long distance relationship is all about priorities and commitment.
Though relationships are always fun and rewarding, friendships are my favorite thing to look back on and reminisce about. One of my all-time best friends goes to college about 300 miles away from my home university. Though this distance may not seem like much, our busy schedules keep us running in different circles with minimal downtime. I know most of you probably have that one amazing friendship that can pick up right where you left off three weeks later, and it is such an amazing feeling to know that you two will always be there ready to resume. Though we try to talk every day, sometimes one conversation will span for three days as we each reply every few hours because of our schedules.
Tips for keeping up long distance friendships are much like those for long distance relationships. Stay interested and always make an effort to hang out whenever there in time your schedules. Hometown friends are also really great for keeping up with your graduating class drama and any surprises that you might encounter when you return home for the summer. Gossip and drama are a major topic when it comes to catching up with long distance friends. Even if you don't like to talk about others, it's still great to learn what has changed over the past 5 months.
I have experienced many different long distance relationships as I moved to college, and they are usually the most rewarding and real friendships I have. I am blessed to be able to return home each summer and spend time with my long distance boyfriend and best friend. They have taught me what it means to be committed and motivated in long-term relationships. When the phrase “long distance” comes up, everyone assumes it is a romantic relationship, and long distance friendships go vastly overlooked. Do not discount your hometown friendships because it’s only friendship. Friendship will be the number one contributor to your happiness and success in life. Whether it’s platonic or romantic, do not let your long distance relationships suffer because of your fear of the phrase “long distance.”