It’s your senior year in high school. You are determined to get into all the colleges that you have applied to. Nothing can stop you from succeeding to accomplish your goals. Everything is falling into place and graduation is so close you can feel it. Just one more year of hurried hallways and asking for a pass to use the restroom and you’re free. Then you meet him. It may not have seemed like a life changing moment at the time. But it was. The first few months are absolute bliss. You fall in love. You fall in love very hard. Soon though, it’s February of your senior year and you start hearing from colleges. The ones you were so excited about just a few months prior. Each acceptance comes with a rush of excitement, but also with a rush of fear. Everyone tells you to listen to your head and not your heart. That young love never lasts, and to think it is delusional. And maybe you are being just a bit crazy, but isn’t that what love does to you? So you decide to try the impossible, the scariest two words in any relationship: Long-Distance.
I was always the girl who sneered and gagged at cute couples that I saw. For some reason, I couldn’t understand how people could become so enamored by one person that they had become a complete lovesick mess. I remember as a little kid, I would always tease my older sister and her boyfriends for being “disgusting” and “gross”. She would just laugh and tell me she couldn’t wait till I fell in love, then I would understand. At the time, I really couldn’t understand. I had some morphed idea in my brain that loving someone made you weak and made you lose your independence.
When I did fall in love, I was in for a big shock. Somehow, I became one of those gross lovesick girls. The ones I had made fun of and swore I would never be like! It took me a very long time to accept that, yes, I was a typical cheesy girlfriend, and that I would be back to the way I was with time, or when the relationship ended. But it didn’t end. There was some voice inside my head screaming at me to not let this boy go. That this wasn’t just some high school boyfriend that I should leave back in Connecticut. So for once in my life, I trusted my heart completely.
Adjusting to long distance was no easy task. We moved from 15 minutes away to three hours away. We were on complete opposite sides of Florida, each looking at different coasts. Throughout my first few weeks as a freshman, I had realized that a lot of students were in the same situation as me. Students were dating people near and far. Some were across the country, some thirty minutes away. Suddenly I didn’t feel so alone. We all talked about the best ways to keep in touch, and how great it was to leap into their arms after waiting weeks, or even months to see them. My relationship is stronger than ever since coming to college. Having separate lives together makes things fun and interesting. We have our separate social life, then time reserved for just the two of us. I have been able to be the independent girl I always wanted to be, but also a much more loving and kind version of that girl.