I hope everyone is doing well! We just finished Spring Break and it’s now the time of year that feels so busy as we all wrap up projects and prepare for finals! Last time I wrote about Preview Day (April 7th) and I hope you can all attend! If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section of that post! If/when you visit, be sure to check out and use #Iamaneagle on social media! I plan to write up the ULTIMATE packing list that I wish I had had, but for now, I thought it would be beneficial to ease the minds of many incoming freshmen.
As a Women’s Ambassador, my third or fourth conversation with my girls is usually asking about relationships. It’s not uncommon for people who have been dating throughout high school to be a little panicked at this point in senior year.
To begin, I’m proud of anyone who is planning on trying out long distance. It’s easy to quit the relationship, or worse, give up your dream to go to the same college as your “bae”. Our school is so specialized that you most likely are coming because your passion is in aviation or aerospace! While these final months spent together may make you dread being apart (if they don’t I would be worried, haha!), know it is all ok!
Ok, here is the background on my long distance relationship and then we will get on with the advice!
Chris and I have been together since the middle of senior year. We went to different schools but worked together at a restaurant. Overall, we didn’t have the opportunity to spend much time together throughout the week, but we always made time on Friday nights or the weekend after work. Chris stayed in Colorado while I moved to Florida for school. On breaks, I would go home and spend lots of time with him and my family. Sometimes Chris would be gone on breaks and that would be hard. This year, Chris is in California, so I don’t even get to see him when I go home. That definitely makes things more challenging.
Chris is in the military so we have an additional challenge. Last fall we went months without any contact except letters. It was rough but very rewarding when I finally got to see him at his graduation. I was so proud! We still struggle due to the time difference between us and with both of us being busy!
My best advice:
Do it – As I already mentioned, a lot of people never even try. They break up before or one sacrifices their education/top university choice for the other. Try it! Do what is best for you and I promise, if it is meant to be, you will find a way to make it work!
Write letters – I learned that while Chris was in Basic Training, letters made our love story very fun! It’s better than texting all day and being distracted from life in front of you. Even though we can text occasionally throughout the day, we still send letters!
Use the mail – Along with letters, use things like Etsy, BirchBox, flower delivery services, or other mailing options to send surprises to each other. Chris is great at this and little does he know, he currently has a surprise coming to him now! Everyone loves a little surprise and getting a package from the mail center makes my day! This sounds expensive but it’s not! Think about if you did a date night, it would be about $40. Mailing Chris a box of his favorite snacks costs $20!
Make time – This is obvious but it’s harder than people think. He is working and I have class, work, and activities. We promise each other the weekend afternoons! He normally calls me at night and we do homework together after sharing our days. We use to text everything but now we have cut back so we have things to share at night. This gives us something to look forward to! I have learned to communicate very clearly my feelings since we don’t have the luxury of non-verbal cues. I have to remind myself he can’t see that I’m tired, so I need to say I am. This way he knows I may be a bit crankier.
Facetime is life – It is. While you may be sad seeing couples together, you just have to accept this is as good as it gets for now. We Facetime often and sync movies (there are websites for this) or play 21 questions! It sounds silly but there are games to play online if you Google them!
Plan trips – While it may be more expensive, think of all the money you’re saving on eating out while apart! I visited Chris last month (you can see my other post for more details) and he came last semester. That short time together makes it all worth it! We think of it as getting to travel more than we would if we were together. When he comes to visit, it’s like a mini vacation!
Be patient – Patience is the backbone of long distance relationships. You have to be ok with boring Facetime calls, awkward silences, not knowing any of the same people, not being able to share stories about classes like in high school, and not experiencing new things together. Yes it makes me sad and we fought a lot to get to the point we are at now, but you really learn and grow as a person throughout it. I have learned to communicate more, be off my phone, and listen better.
At the end of the day, I just recommend giving it a shot. Do NOT let your relationship jeopardize your future. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends broke up in college, even people who went to the same school. There is no advice that will save your relationship, that’s up to you! I just know that while we have weeks we fight every day, we have months of constant happiness even while apart. Yes, it sucks I am alone, but because of this, I am way more involved in my classes and clubs! Honestly, if Chris were here, I would always be distracted! If your partner is coming to the same school as you, that’s great! Don’t lose yourself or miss out on opportunities though!
Have a great week! – Maddie Dietrich