There is one thing that the Disney High School Musical franchise got right: the song "Scream" as the epitome of my frustration with AP Calculus and Winston Smith. Unfortunately, breaking out into song in the cafeteria didn't make it to the list. Neither did the portrayal of long-distance relationships! Long distance relationships reflect more of a Harry-Voldemort connection rather than a Troy-Gabriella relationship (see note below).
The end of high school translates to a variety of unknowns (only answered partially by Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure... thanks, Kenny Ortega), including what will happen to existing relationships. Here are some tips to help you keep your sanity in a long-distance relationship:
1. Don't let your relationship take over your college experience
I think that this advice goes for any time in your life while you are in any relationship. Love is great and warm and fuzzy, which makes it so easy to get entangled in. However, college is all about experiencing independence with NEW people; make sure that you don't lock yourself in your dorm room on Facetime every weekend. Most people only get four years of college, so make the most of it.
2. Keep your partner involved in your life
This tip may seem contradictory in context of the last tip, but it's not. While you should be making new and exciting memories in college, you also shouldn't forget the commitment that you made when you decided to stay in a relationship in college. Instead of blocking out your significant other in pursuit of adventure in college or blocking out the adventure of college for love, mix both together! Get an A on an exam or get a new internship? Let your partner know! Make sure to keep your partner in-the-loop of what's happening and what's important in your life.
3. Don't be afraid of letting go of the past
If things start going south and both parties have done everything they can to mend the relationship, don't be afraid to let go. It will be hard because you've known this person for so long and have such a close bond with them, but it is always best to let someone go instead of trying something that you know will not work and making things much worse. Unfortunately, long distance does not always work for everyone, since relationships are not purely formed on love but also a multitude of other factors. Treasure the memories that you have with this person, and if the times comes, let them go so that you can both move forward.
4. Try to stay friends
I truly feel that relationships are deep friendships that are taken a step forward. Through all of the drama, happiness, and stress of the college experience it can be easy to forget that your significant other is also your friend! Don't be afraid to confide in them about your fears and worries of everyday college life. Although long distance relationships do not always pan out perfectly, definitely try to salvage your friendship if it is possible. It is very possible that you guys can work out at a later time and place!
5. Remember why you chose to be in a long-distance relationship
At the end of the day, you chose to be in this relationship despite the hardships involved in long distance relationships. Why? Because you love and care about this person deeply and want to continue your romantic journey with them in your life. Whether your relationship goes the way you hope or not, remember the feelings that you have for your partner because that is what counts.
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year; he is going to Purdue University for mechanical engineering and I am going to Fordham University for political science. Funny enough, my boyfriend bought us a pair of long-distance lamps for college, and they're pretty awesome. The lamps are connected with wifi, and have motion sensors; when one person touches the lamp, the other lamp reflects the colors. It's just an easy way to let the other person know that you're thinking of them.
Unfortunately, I can't predict the future. I don't know if we'll break up after the first week, get married, or anything in between. But what I can do is be grateful for the moments of laughter, shenanigans, and happiness that come with this relationship.
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