When someone says “long distance relationship” maybe you picture a couple going to schools in two different states, or two different countries; even two different continents. How strange is it that the word “relationship” has a certain connotation? A relationship, by definition, means, “the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.” I don’t really see anything about relationships being romantic. Chances are, if you’re a college student, you’re in a long distance relationship with at least one person; romantic or platonic. Either way, long distance relationships are beyond difficult.
Sometimes you have the opportunity to talk on the phone every day to the person you’re missing. Sometimes you can Skype with them weekly…sometimes not. If you’re anything like me, the hardest part of college might not be the classes. It seems like everyone on campus is starting to miss their family, friends, and significant others. With finals fast approaching, it’s starting to get even harder to keep in touch.
College is supposed to be a time to meet new people, but you don’t want to sacrifice old relationships just to make new friends. Keeping up friendships takes work: from both ends.
Two of my best friends, Becka and Miranda, go to Western Washington University, Mariama and Andy are at the University of Washington, and Lindsey moved to California months ago. I also had to leave behind a lot of underclassmen at my high school, as well as many friends in my hometown (hey Abby, Eddy, Rachel, Phillip, gosh I know I’m missing people). Besides Lindsey, who moved to Cali with her family, I’m the only one out of state. While all my friends are busy visiting and spending the night on each other’s floors, I feel a little bit like I fell off the map.
I Skype with all of them once in awhile, but with different schedules and plenty to keep me busy, it’s difficult to find time. When we do, we spend an hour or two updating the other person on what’s going on. Rarely do we have time to sit around and, well, just talk about nothing. As I get further into this year, I’ve begun to realize what it is that I miss, and it’s not intellectual conversations, or talking about how our days went. I miss having time to reminisce and play stupid games and watch movies. Unfortunately, when you only have an hour to talk, you have to spend it wisely.
Of course, with Thanksgiving and Winter Break coming up, you’ll hopefully have plenty of time to sit around watching movies while drinking hot chocolate (and maybe playing in the snow?). Take advantage of the break, and catch up with the people you don’t get to see too often. You only have to make it through 21 days before you’re home for the holidays!
But if you’re like me, one of the most important people might be missing from your holiday visit. My best friend (and yes, boyfriend), Gavin, moved back to Singapore a little over two months ago. He enlists in mandatory National Service in February, and my seeing him before then is unlikely. It kind of puts a damper on my favorite season: a Skype-Christmas is a little unconventional.
There he is sitting on the other side of the world, and I’m the one blogging about how I feel like I’ve “fallen off the map.” I can say with utter certainty that he’s having a harder time than I am-though he definitely doesn’t cry as much as I do. Anyone away from somebody they love will tell you that some days are just harder than others, and for me this week has been one of the hardest. Maybe it’s because the holidays are approaching, or maybe it’s the added stress of the end of the quarter. Either way I’ve definitely spent more time clutching my bear and crying this week than any other. Some days are just like that, and you don’t have to know why. Just be upset, because somewhere in your mind is a logical reason.
So how am I going to handle this incomplete holiday? I don’t know. Maybe that’s not how I’m supposed to end a post like this: with uncertainty, but I would feel like I’m cheating you out of the truth if I gave you concrete advice. Things are hard sometimes-a lot of the time-and everybody deals with it differently. I find that when I’m upset my productivity might increase ten-fold: you can’t be sad when you have no time to think about why you’re sad. Sometimes I’m the opposite, and I shut down. All I can say is just remember that everything is temporary: your friends will be ready for a movie night, your parents will no doubt grill you about your final grades, and you’ll see your boyfriend again. The holidays are a time to be thankful for the amazing people you have in your life, whether they’re sitting next to you or not.
By Quinn Murphy