Just under 235 miles is the distance between me and my boyfriend for nine or ten months out of the year. For the last year and a half, we've been in a long distance relationship while simultaneously juggling school, work, and social lives. Long distance love, like any love, is far from easy. However, we've found a way to make it work that helps us maintain our relationship while balancing classes, work, and more. While I'm not a relationship expert by any means, I want to share with anyone who may have met someone who lives far away while they were at school or preparing to leave for school and make their relationship work long distance.
The main thing to always do is making time for the other person, while also accepting their schedule and your own. Classes are always the main priority in college, so never skip or ignore your academic responsibilities just to talk to your S.O. Someone who truly cares about you will understand the importance of going to class, studying, and doing homework for both of you. Always try and block out at least a little each time every day if you can to talk to them, maybe between classes or after, but be understanding if plans fall through or change.
When your schedules get crisscrossed, don't fret, just work with it. Possibly plan out visits or a long video chat to catch up after a couple of busy days. I know I always feel let down when we can't talk on certain days, but it is never the end of the world. Having separate lives is an important part of any relationship. Since we're long distance, it can be easy to try and overcompensate for how much we talk, but I think one of the things we've worked through is not forcing ourselves to talk when it doesn't work.
Visiting even for a little bit can also be a really great way to build up your relationship. I know for a lot of incoming college students who don't have a car or think that a weekend is too short this can be difficult. But talk to your SO, try and make plans and figure out how to make it work, and value the time you spend together. I know a weekend can seem to fly by, but you can actually make so many memories together in such a short amount of time. Take advantage of it.
If you still want to spend time together, video chat study dates are something I'd definitely recommend. My boyfriend is in school for music, so having him practice while I get my work done for the night is definitely relaxing, but even studying together normally is nice too. When it comes to fights, long distance can only add to how dicey a situation is. My recommendation is to talk through it or go over what happened as you normally would. I know that long distance can add an extra layer of tension or unease within a relationship, but use it as a way to communicate better and understand one another and the kind of space or comfort you may need in an argument.
The greatest component you can have in a long distance relationship is trust. For so many people, long distance in college fails because it can difficult to trust your S.O. in the typical college environment without you. What's equally important in my opinion is communication, and without those two things no relationship, long distance or otherwise, can really be strong. Whether you have a foundation of a preexisting relationship or not, there are ways to make long distance work if you feel it is worth the effort and time. No relationship is easy, but when you really want to be with someone, you'll be willing to go the distance.