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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

A College Girl’s Guide to Surviving Long Distance

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

Let’s be real: long distance sucks. Whether you are a car-drive away or have to brave the airport, it is actual flaming crap that you cannot see your significant other for months at a time! You can FaceTime all you want, but sometimes, you would just like a real kiss and a hug. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I pray everyone suffering long distance can visit their Valentine, and as an early Valentine treat, here is a College Girl’s Guide to Surviving Long Distance:

Cry & Be Miserable

I debated starting this piece on a positive note, but opted for breaking-down that cold, hard truth. As a freshman in college, I have been enduring long distance for about five months and I absolutely hate it. I could fill this page with hope and optimism, but sometimes, you just have to be miserable. It is ok (and healthy!) to allow yourself to feel your feelings, so lay in that bed and cry, pout, grieve, eat a whole sleeve of Oreos–really whatever feels best. The pain of missing someone that is so integral to your life does not go away; you just get better at living with it. This is true for a romantic partner but also a best friend, sibling, or parent. We miss those we truly love. But, when you are going through those particularly rough patches, keep in mind that the distance will end one day.


One of the main issues that can occur while maintaining a long distance relationship is that trust can weaken because you simply see that person less and let your overthinking brain run wild. A way to combat this and strengthen your bond is to have good communication. Talk with your partner about your expectations when it comes to communicating. Is it better to call in the mornings or at night? How often should we FaceTime? What’s your schedule like? It’s going to be different for everyone; some people want a call every night, whereas others prefer texting more. The main thing is to be understanding and if you miss a FaceTime, be open and honest with your partner. Some other ways to stay in touch can be through fun apps such as Locket which allows you to send photos to each other, and they will automatically pop up on a widget on the other person’s home screen. You can also make digital postcards with photos and sweet messages through TouchNote to send to each other, because who doesn’t love a love letter, and you get to save on postage! 

Swap Items

A great way to feel like your significant other is nearby is to swap or gift each other items. By trading something that can be worn, such as a hoodie or a necklace, you can feel that person’s presence through the object. You can also make it a fun game of swapping out different items each time you visit. For example, maybe this time you get a hoodie but the next you get their favorite stuffed animal. Creating a playlist together is another cute way to stay connected as you can both update it with your latest song obsession; a sort of “song-swapping”, if you will! Also, since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, you could make each other cheesy paper Valentines and swap, either in person or through the mail!

Plan Visits/Fun Dates

It’s important to plan things you’ll look forward to doing with your partner. Just getting a date on the calendar for the next visit can be a relief, because it still shows the trust and effort being put into the relationship, as well as something to look forward to. If planning a trip to visit is not possible, you can schedule fun, virtually-distanced dates, such as ordering the same takeout and watching a movie together. The Kast app allows you to seamlessly watch a movie together and avoid the hassle of trying to sync up screens. You could also read the same book and get together each week to discuss it. If you want to be more active, you can go hiking in your respective regions and send each other pictures at the top of each peak!

Surviving long distance is all about the little things. Sending your partner photos of when you see their favorite candy to remind them you care; remembering when they have a big exam and wishing them luck; putting in effort to answer texts within a reasonable time frame and schedule FaceTime calls; reading their favorite book or watching their favorite movie; even simply sending the Wordle back and forth every day is a good way to build a routine and lessen the stressors of not seeing your partner. At the end of the day, be understanding and remember that this is trying on both of you. You’ve got it!

Sam is a first-year Economics Major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is currently involved in Her Campus as an editorial writer and a part of other Cal Poly clubs such as Investing and Waterski. Sam loves traveling, The Princess Diaries, strawberries, reading, and winning at card games. If she's not making a new Spotify playlist, you'll catch her working out or hanging out with friends!