Breaking the Distance

Breaking The Distance1Maintaining long distance relationships, both friendly and romantic, is something that every college student can relate to. Most of us have friends who attend college in other states, and even friends who study abroad. As college students, we are always busy with homework, studying, sports commitments, and attending club meetings without finding time for communicating with friends who live far away. However, in this day and age, communicating with friends is easier than ever.

Freshman music student Bailey Cohen shared her methods of long distance communication. “I communicate with my friend who attends college in West Virginia mainly through text messages or Snapchat, but I’m willing to try creative, unique ways of keeping in touch,” she said. Cohen also shared that a friend wrote his long-distance girlfriend a song to embrace their relationship while tackling the distance obstacle.

Freshman political science student Joshua Vidaurri finds different ways to keep in touch with friends and family from his hometown of Texas. He shared, “my friends still go to school in Texas, so we do group [video] calls as often as we can. I try to text them every day, but it’s hard because we’re all busy.” Group video calls are more fulfilling than standard texting because it is more intimate and makes it feel as if the person is right there with you. This is one of the biggest things our generation is lucky to have that previous generations did not.

Breaking The Distance2Although texting, video calls, and social media make it easy to communicate, there are plenty of other creative ways to keep in touch with your friends and/or significant other that do not involve digital communication. Writing letters to your friends may seem old school, but it can really brighten someone’s day, especially when we’re all used to communicating online. It’s a great way to make your romantic partner know that you care.

Anniversaries and birthdays are the perfect occasions to send gifts baskets to those who live far away. You can decorate it with candy, chocolates, flowers, and even picture frames of the two of you together to make it more personal. You can also spice it up a little by adding that creative, heartfelt letter to the front center of the basket. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, don’t be afraid to get creative and decorate your partner’s basket with heart balloons, plush bears, and red roses.

College students frequently feel torn when it comes to long-distance relationships and begin frantically asking themselves questions such as, Should I break up with them? Should I try to keep the relationship alive? Will long distance work for us? Before you begin to throw away your relationship because it seems “hard” or too “tiring”, you have to take everything into consideration.

Professor of psychology Jennifer Trimarchi provided some advice on long-distance relationships. She explained, “If you can grow with the person, you are going to last. [In a relationship] we’re able to communicate with each other and share each other’s interests and personalities; there’s no judgement, there’s only support and love.”

If your relationship is built on love, trust, and support, then you shouldn’t let distance get in the way of that. In fact, you can even go the extra mile and surprise your significant other by buying a train, bus, or plane ticket to their college.

Whether the relationship is friendly or romantic, it’s important to keep in touch with those who are close to us. Don’t think of distance as an obstacle. Rather, think of it as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship; if you can tackle the issue of distance, then you can overcome any obstacle that comes in the way of your relationship. As they say, distance makes the heart grow fonder. Seeing your boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend after months of being apart can make spending time with them so much sweeter.

PHOTOS TAKEN by Campbell Lee