The Reality Of Long Distance Relationships In College

The Reality Of Long Distance Relationships In College

Do not let jealousy kill your relationship.
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It’s no secret that most high school relationships end the summer before freshman year of college. The majority of the time, this is because couples that are going to different schools are intimidated by long distance. I’ll be the first one to say long distance is no walk in the park - always scrambling to find a date to Tuesday night sorority date events, when you’re sad and just need someone to cuddle, if you’re hungry and nobody will go grab food with you. Yeah during times like this, being so far away really sucks, but at the end of the day, it all makes you value that special person even more. If I could give one piece of advice to any relationship that is ending for the sole reason of long distance, give it a try, because you never know what could have happened if you didn’t.

If you’re one of the of the brave souls willing to see how it goes, I’m here for you. I’ve reflected on why I think my boyfriend and I have had such an easy long distance experience and want to share my opinions with you. The first and arguably most important thing to keep in mind is to trust each other.

Do not let jealousy kill your relationship.

He’s going to make girl friends that he likes to chill and study with. She’s going to meet another guy that makes her laugh. And that’s perfectly okay. You are allowed to have other people in your life that make you happy and so is the other person; these are called friendships. This does not mean that other person loves you any less. The moment you learn this and actually believe it is the moment that you and your significant other can truly start enjoying college.

You need to let each other have fun.

The main reason my boyfriend and I get along so well is because we don’t inhibit each other from doing what the other one wants. There, of course, has to be a sense of respect for the other person, meaning when you do go out, you make sure you tell them and keep them updated on what you’re doing. At the same time, don’t have the kind of relationship where your significant other is not ‘allowed’ to go to parties or go out with their friends. The second they feel like you are stopping them from exploring college and figuring out who they are as a person, the relationship is no longer genuine and it is no longer good for either of you.

Introduce the other person to your friends.

I am known for answering a facetime no matter where I am. Yes, my friends always say how annoying it is, but I feel like my boyfriend knows my friends so much better because of it. He’s with us when we walk to class, when we’re eating in the dining hall, when we are literally at our semi-formal, when we’re studying in the library, ALL THE TIME. For that reason, he has so much of a better time when he comes to visit because he’s actually friends with my friends. In the beginning, these frequent FaceTimes were crucial for allowing each other to understand the other’s world and get comfortable with being so far away.

Be sure to make time to talk to one another privately.

Yes, I did just emphasize the importance of talking to them with your friends around. However, giving them a little one on one time is equally just as important. My boyfriend and I tried the whole texting all day everyday thing for the majority of our first semester in college and it led to major problems. This unrealistic expectation that we would be able to quickly text the other one back at all hours of the day left us getting mad at each other each time a text was left hanging for more than an hour. Thankfully, this semester we realized that this was not working.

We both sacrificed constant texting for just one phone call at the end of the day. Sometimes this call is only five minutes and sometimes it’s two hours, but we always try to devote some time to each other before we go to bed to just talk about our day and what’s going on in our lives; setting aside time is sometimes hard to fit into our busy schedules, but it’s so important to make sure we’re keeping up with each other and letting them know that they are important to us.

Blake - thank you for always being patient, kind, and understanding. There aren’t a lot of guys like you and I can’t wait to see you next.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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I Know That If We Can Make It Through Long Distance, We Can Make It Through Anything

Why long distance is the best thing to ever happen to me

Emi
Emi
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I don't.

It isn't.

There are parts of being in a long distance relationship that I never know if I will fully be able to articulate. The moment I said goodbye to my boyfriend when we left for college freshman year, I closed the door behind me as he drove away and just crumpled to the ground and sobbed. This sounds unbelievably dramatic, and I had never been an emotional person until this moment. However, the fear of the unknown was paralyzing. My best friend was about to live five hours away from me, I was going to be in a different time zone, and I didn't know when I was going to see him again. This was my first real experience where I felt like I had just lost someone I loved.

Of course, I didn't really lose him. But that moment, everything did change. I was forced to become independent and had to re-learn how to find happiness being alone. And boy, was I alone. The first few days after he left, I was still at home preparing to move to my school. I could hardly function. I barely ate, and I had never felt so drained of energy. Whenever I would play music and a song that reminded me of him came on, I could not help but cry. My parents physically dragged me to a "going-away" dinner, and I only spoke a few sentences the whole time. Again, this sounds ridiculously theatrical (and if I had not actually lived through it myself, I would agree). My first semester at college, I was the definition of lost. It took me a long time to find myself without my best friend by my side.

But gradually, things got better (and continue to). Now, our goodbyes are still sad but not quite so sloppy. I no longer feel empty without him. I have found my passions at school and with these discoveries have come people that share them. I have an established group of friends, I have a clear professional direction, and I have goals that feel achievable. Re-creating my identity outside of a boyfriend, while unbelievably difficult, has forced me to self-reflect on who I am as an individual and who I want to become.

Because I don't have a boyfriend around to spend weekends with, I spend all my time with my friends. I have time to dedicate to school, an on-campus job, and serving on executive positions for multiple organizations. My schedule is my own, and I can create time to go to the gym six days a week. I am able to get coffee with potential employers and explore the city of Indianapolis without worrying about canceling plans with my boyfriend. I have truly had an independent college experience, and I do not doubt that this has allowed me to become more involved and invested in my friends, my schoolwork, and my extracurriculars than I would have had we gone to the same school.

These are the things I try to remind myself of when we spend Valentine's Day, both our birthdays and almost every single weekend apart. This is what I force myself to think when he is missing from my sorority's formal, date nights, and philanthropy events. When my roommates spend the night with their boyfriends multiple days a week, I smile and say, "Have a good night!" I try not to envy their position too much because I tell myself that long distance has given me so many opportunities.

This is true. But I also miss him, all the time. One thing is for certain, long distance has made me a much stronger individual. I have learned how to find happiness outside of being with him. I have discovered more about myself the past few years alone than I would have had we been at the same school. I have fostered life-long relationships with my friends.

And, at the end of the day, I know that if we can make it through long distance, we can make it through anything.

Emi
Emi

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