Long Distance Friendships Don't Have To Be Hard, They Just Have To Be Worth It

Long Distance Friendships Don't Have To Be Hard, They Just Have To Be Worth It

Some people are in your life for a season, and others for a reason.
“Some people are in your life for a season, and others for a reason”

The quote above holds a lot of truth in my mind. In my 19 years on this planet, I’ve interacted with hundreds of people. The friends that I have acquired and lost throughout the years have all impacted my life in some way. While they were in my life, my naive mind thought they would stay with me forever. As I grew up, changed, and moved away from places, I realized that some people simply are not meant to stay in your life. Everyone changes and has to part ways eventually; everyone except those who are willing to stay in your life and actually make the effort to stay in touch, even when you are 1,000 miles from each other.

After 8th grade, I moved away from the sunny state of Florida, to the chilly garden state of New Jersey. At first, I stayed in contact with my friends back home, but after my Freshman year in high school, those connections fizzled out. This experience made think that the distance was to blame for the end of these friendships.

Three years went by in Jersey. I became friends with so many incredible people and immersed myself our Mock Trial team, easily becoming close to my teammates. My school was a safe haven from the rest of the world because I had amazing friends; friends who I could tell actually cared and wanted the best for me. My theory was proven at the end of my Junior year, when I announced that I was moving back to South Florida that summer, after my mother told me she had found a great job back home.

My friends, who had gone from being my acquaintances, to being the best friends I had ever had, showed me unconditional support, even though they were saddened by the news. They all knew how much I loved Florida and how much I yearned to return. I’ll be honest, when the car parked in that New Jersey street for the first time, I wanted a one way flight back, but when I looked at my friends three years later as I told them the news, I wanted to stay right where I was.

The school year ended and it was time to say goodbye. I don’t think anything has hurt me more than parting ways with the girls who had shaped my high school experience and had grown with me throughout the turbulent years. Each goodbye was different but they all had some things in common: tears were shed and words of love and appreciation were shared.

One of my friends came over to my house and handed me an envelope. When I opened it, I found a piece of green nylon and a picture of my friend and I. The item had come from a parachute that we had each cut a piece from during a school assembly. A veteran had spoken to us about how he had been packing parachutes for soldiers, and one day, years later, he met a man whose parachute he had packed.

He told us that we all have someone who packs our parachute; someone who does all they can to hold us up and keep us from crashing to the ground. At the assembly, I remember my friend saying, “I know exactly who to give this to.”

I figured she would give it to her mom or dad, having no idea she felt that I had done so much for her. That was the moment where I learned that people change people and that some people are in your life for a reason. Some help you, some need your help, and some give as much as they take. My friends definitely fit into the last category. We were always there for each other and continue to be there. They changed my life for the better.

These girls were not only in my life for the time that I lived in Jersey. Two years have passed and we continue to text each other everyday, call when we’re running errands, and facetime when we have things to say to each other that cannot be expressed through words on a screen.

Sometimes we are extremely busy with our different schedules, but that has never stopped any of us from communicating with each other every so often. Now that we are all in college, we are all split up in some way. We check up on one another to make sure we are doing well, and send memes and words of encouragement on our group chat as many times as we can.

This experience showed me that distance does not matter if a friendship is strong enough. If there is a foundation that was built properly and if people are willing to make the effort to talk, friendships won’t end all of a sudden.

Distance is annoying, but it is not as limiting as people seem to think, especially with all the technology available to us. Friends who want to stay in your life will find a way to stay, and after this, you will understand the reason why they remain there.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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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


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.


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