When You're In A Long-Distance Relationship... With Home

When You're In A Long-Distance Relationship... With Home

Go the distance; you will become a stronger person because of it.
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Approaching month number four in my long distance relationship with home, I've learned a lot about myself, my friends, and my surroundings.

Being in college as a freshman, everything is new. New room, new friends, new experiences, and for a lot of us, new towns sometimes even states. Coming to The University of Alabama all the way from Michigan was the biggest adjustment I have probably ever had to make. I went from having the accessibility of a car, coming home to fresh hot meals made by my mom, seeing my friends all day every day during school to having none of those things.

The first couple months were hard. I was thrown into a huge place with lots of fresh faces... well all fresh faces. I was forced to be independent. But then I realized that everyone is in the same boat as me. It didn't matter if they lived five minutes from home, or in my case eleven and a half hours, everyone was experiencing new beginnings just as much as I was. All I had to do was put myself out there and be the outgoing girl from Michigan I knew I was.

Since that mindset, I have made some of the best friends I could ever ask for, I have learned ramen noodle nights are okay, and that Tuscaloosa is really my home away from home; I belong here. Of course, I miss my family, friends, and my bed, but being so far away makes all of those things that much sweeter when I come home.

With that being said, it is also okay to be sad. Within the first couple weeks, I thought I wanted to transfer, that UA just wasn't for me. My advice: stay strong. Homesickness is a thing and almost everyone goes through it; you're not the only one. Lean on those around you and find things to keep you busy.

As I write this article sitting on the plane on my way home for the very first time, I have realized how fortunate I am to have come to Alabama and the memories I've made thus far with some of my best friends. I wouldn't change those lonely nights when I missed my family or friends because that's how I found the people that truly care and were there for me.

Alabama is my sweet home and I could not be more excited to take on the rest of my time here. So, go the distance; you will become a stronger person because of it.

Cover Image Credit: Ally Lasch

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All I've Ever Known Is Long Distance Relationships

Saying goodbye never gets easier. Period.
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At this point, I've given too many 'squeeze tight' hugs to know that they don't prevent the heartache or the absence of a loved one who lives far away; even though I always expect them to. Its never mattered how many extra seconds I held on for. I just knew it was comforting in the moment. Truthfully, long distance relationships thoroughly suck, but I've learned a lot through them.

As long as I can remember, my dad has driven a semi truck throughout the week and is only home on the weekends. When I was little and only tall enough to hug him around his leg, I'd squeeze him as tightly as possible, he would kiss me on the forehead, and tell me how much he loved his little girl. tears... I know. Usually, after he'd hardly get out of the door, I'd run after him for one more hug... It couldn't EVER just be one hug and I still can't tell you why.

Even though there may be some daddy/daughter time that was missed, he's still been there for everything he possibly could have and more.

And even to this day, I say "Dad's home" and my dogs bolt to the door no joke. ((probably because he brings them McDonald's..spoiled)) Bottom line, after twenty years I've realized a few thing things.

a.) It doesn't get easier to say goodbye and wish him a good week.

b.) I still don't call him enough.

Sending extra surprises for him through out the week helped me too. I would slip homemade cookies with a note in his bag so he could find them at some point during the week. I always wanted him to know he's always thought about and that I'll never be able to thank him enough for the time he has sacrificed to support us. I literally won't ever be able to accomplish that but I think cookies help..

My grandparents live forever and a day away (really, only eight hours... but as a kid in a car, it felt like forever). After twenty years of minimal grandparent quality time, I'm still confused as to why our generation doesn't have 'grandma matching' websites?? Spending time with her in the kitchen, cookin' up her famous dessert like every grandma has, is irreplaceable. Living without embarrassing stories of my parents has been a killer too. My grandparents have always live out of state and spending any kind of quality time with them had to be lived within seventy-two hours, three times a year. Now that they're both gone I've realized a few things.

a.) Sometimes there's nothing you can do to change the situation, but you can make the best of it.

b.) Unconditional love will never be defined by distance.

My brother Dan served in the army about seven years ago and whether he was in basic training or Afghanistan, I couldn't wait to Skype or write him letters in only red or blue.. because that's totally the American thing to do.

At one point in his service, I had no idea Dan came home from leave. He surprised me and woke me up for school the morning he got home. I still can't even explain the pure joy in my heart that morning!!

A picture of his daughter had me giggling so hard. She's only four, absolutely beautiful, and going to have to deal with everything I did growing up...(she won't be able to date until she's married hehe).

a.) I don't call him enough either.. Truthfully, some people you just can't call enough, you still unbearably miss them.

b.) Whether it be a picture of his family or he's telling me he's moved up in his job again, I'll always be proud of him as a person. Just because there's only like 1,000 miles between us doesn't mean I don't get overly excited for him. Actually, it makes me hate the miles between us even more.

In high school, my last thought was adding another LDR. After two years of dating my high school sweetheart, we parted ways and went to different colleges. It's takes prayer, patience, trust, and a lot of communication to go so long without seeing my better half. The 48 hours that seem to go by way too fast, are some of the best times we've had together. Yeah, it's not easy but honestly what relationship is?

So out of this crazy mess, what have I learned?

a.) I'm don't fear as much. I've always been a fearful person. Enough that my mom would have to introduce me to friends when we went camping. I never been exactly 'confident' which plays a huge factor into relationships. I've gotten pretty worked up over basically nothing on the phone with Matt. I've questioned my ability in being a girlfriend, am I good enough, what if he meets someone better... the list goes on.

Matt and I are complete opposites because the boy walks with peace and calmness in any crisis while I'm going in circles how not having a clue what to do. Although I worry, he reassures me what's true and reminds me of the truth.

b.) Whether you're in a LDR or with your better half all of the time, you have to intentionally date. Sometimes, we invest our time together in movies, electronics, or other things that distract us away from interacting with each other. We don't get every night or even every weekend now, so we go on really cool dates now, talk about our day, and learn more about each other than ever.

c.) Saying goodbye will never ever ever get any easier. period.

d.) I trust frat boys now. It's a miracle.

5.) Morgie, Dani, and Hannah: my sweet CofO sisters. It felt like a break-up when I transferred schools without them. We survived a year without our cars (it's a College of the Ozarks thing), daily cafe food, General, Organic, Bio-Chemistry, and just getting through our first year away from home together. I've never laughed or cried at 2 a.m. so hard with anyone in my life. We still have a group text and when we see each other, it's like time hasn't passed. Soooo....

a.) You can NEVER replace sisters.

b.) We still visit each other and it will never ever ever get any easier to say goodbye. Also, sometimes you have to be spontaneous with distance. On weekends that you and said friend don't have to work or have homework (which are very rare and impossible to plan) you drive two hours to see said friend.. :)


Cover Image Credit: Online Atlas

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What It's Like Having Long Distance Best Friends

How to learn to live without your best friends.
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Everyone has that best friend that lives super close to them and they see each other every day, but most people also take that for granted.

In high school, the main topic of conversation is how excited everyone is to move out and to go to college, especially this time of year when we are so close to summer.

That is extremely bittersweet though. If your story is anything like mine, college means moving away from your best friends and meeting new best friends who live on different ends of the country. Long distance friendships mean not talking every day, communicating mostly by texting, trying to find new best friends who compare to your old ones, and learning to be you without your shield of friends who became family.

One of the most difficult parts about leaving your best friends for college is getting used to not talking on an everyday basis. Going from seeing each other every day, and taking it for granted, to sometimes texting every day is hard, but it helps you find out who you are. As a freshman in college, all of the people around me and I are all trying to find out who we are.

Everyone was put into an old dorm, with a ton of new faces, and sometimes, none of your friends. This was the case for me, and although it was hard and getting used to being without my best friends was tough, it has helped me to find out who I am. Along with that, I have made new friendships and found new best friends.

The difficult part about meeting best friends at school is that you are together every day for 2/3 of the year, and then you leave each other in May, and go months without each other. In my case, some of my best friends literally do live on the other side of the country as me. After learning how hard it is to move away from my best friends, I have also learned to appreciate my time and to live in the moment.

Learn to live in the moment and don't take for granted the amazing people that you are surrounded by!

Cover Image Credit: Keighen Morley

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