Last updateWed, 14 Oct 2020 1pm


Going the Distance: Relationships From Afar

Distance RelationshipsEveryone knows what it is like to leave the person you love behind when going off to college, whether it is the parent figure in your life, a significant other, your best friends from home, or even just your pet. It is always difficult to say goodbye every time you leave home, but living away is even worse. One of the downsides to living on campus during your college years is not having the people you love most there by your side, but it does not have to be so bad with these few tricks.

Family is a key role in many people’s lives, but when you are away from them, life can seem impossible. For those who live close enough from campus to drive home quickly, take a trip home once or twice a month to visit; eat all of the good cooking, binge watch all your favorite TV shows, and laugh until you are blue in the face. But, what you have to keep in mind, is that college is the time of your life where you can branch out and become your own person.

Do not visit every other day because this will hurt you more than help you. If you are living in the dorms here at MU and your family lives more than an hour away, make it a point to call your family as much as you can. Texting is great and you are able to quickly answer, but it is the second best compared to actually calling. Yes, it may be old schooled, but it is one hundred percent worth it. A phone call a day keeps the blues away and everyone knows that they have access to a phone, so go out and get it done!

Significant others are trickier for various reasons. The weather outside is beginning to get cold and it is now the time when you should be cuddling into that one person you love, but if you are like many students here on campus you know that your girlfriend or boyfriend may be an hour or even ten hours away. One may think that they will go crazy not being able to just have a hug when they need one, but it will be okay.

You have a mailbox here at MU for a reason and so does your significant other. Mail them cute letters, send one another pictures, or buy them a surprise care package! Besides that, you can call them and text them as much as you want to, even FaceTime or skype them! You can see their face, hear their voice.

Another idea is visiting on breaks. Not all schools line-up with their breaks, so if you have one and she/he does not, take a trip and visit. If you have the same break, plan to meet either at your hometown or wherever you guys want.

The last and most important component to this long-distance relationship is TRUST! If you and your partner have that, everything will be great and, hopefully, long lasting. Freshman computer science student Matthew Jones shared his experience having a girlfriend an hour away from MU. In his opinion, the most important part of keeping a relationship alive is to “always find time to communicate, such as surprise phone calls to hear the other person’s voice.”

Best friends are not always easy to come by, but when you do find those select few, it can seem impossible to go through life without them. To deal with the distance, Snapchat and phone calls will be there to hold those few friend’s places. This will allow you to keep them up to date on your life and allow them to help you through those daily hardships you go through.

Freshman health studies student, Shannon McGorty, is currently in this situation and here is how her and her best friend get through it: “We talk on the phone every other day, video call, and always make time to visit each other at least once a month.”

Pets, sadly, are not allowed in the dorms. Everyone who signs the dorm contract knows this and must follow the rules of the university. To get through this hardship, which anyone who owns a pet definitely knows, pictures are a must. Ask someone at home, a sibling or guardian, to take at least one picture a day and send it your way! This will allow you to see your pet and know they are safe and sound. The love for an animal is even stronger, at times, than a love for another human, so knowing they are safe is clearly important.

If you can, have that same person call you through a video chat and talk to your pet because all of us do, do not deny it. Oh, and when you visit home, make sure that you buy them a toy or some treats before you get there, just to say, “I am SO sorry for leaving you, but I love you.” This helps the pet forgive you a little faster.

Clearly, long distance relationships are difficult, but not impossible. Remember, the main actions to take are to call and video chat whomever you are missing. Also, make sure to say I love you whenever you can, it goes a long way. Adjunct professor in world languages Aurora Schlegel thinks skype is the best way to keep in touch. “Skype is an excellent way to connect with your loved ones who are far away, it’s how I stay in touch with my family overseas!” She said.

So instead of being down about your experience, take these steps towards being happier and always remember that it is only a few years of this.

Living life wherever, however, and with whomever you choose will be the next step towards adulthood, and being successful in your own personal life is all part of it. Never give up, just put in the effort and you will make the best out of a difficult situation.

PHOTO COURTESY of Emily Condron

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