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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 CU Boulder chapter.

*This is not advice. This is me reflecting on my own experience. Take what I say with a grain of salt*

The summer before my freshman year of college was one of the best I’ve had. I was able to travel coast to coast and spend lots of time with my family, my friends, and my boyfriend, Hayden. Getting closer to the start of the school year, I began to feel anxious, awaiting the many changes I was about to face. I took it upon myself to search for advice online to see if there were any tips or tricks that I could try to make the transition a little bit easier. One of the most common pieces of advice I stumbled upon was to never go into college with your high school boyfriend. I questioned this: At that point in my relationship, I had been together with my boyfriend for almost 3 years. The idea of breaking up before we went to school never crossed my mind. This got me thinking though, why was this such a common piece of advice? What if these people are right? What do they know that I don’t? My mind was in so many different places all at once and I began questioning something that I never doubted in the first place. 

Since Hayden and I had been dating for a few years at this point, it was important for us to discuss our future before going over four hours away from each other. Never once did we talk about the possibility of breaking up. As you can imagine, I was not even a little bit excited to be separated from him. Overall, I would describe myself as a very independent person. However, it’s not easy to be apart from the person you like spending time with the most. Despite this, I was so confident in the standing of our relationship that I knew we could make it work so long as we both put in the right energy and effort. 

For me, the beginning of long distance was the hardest. I struggled finding a group of friends that I felt like I truly belonged in, and I wanted to go back to what was comfortable, which was Hayden. This is when I knew that I had to flip my perspective. Instead of mourning what my relationship used to look like, I started to appreciate what it has become. This is when things got easier for me. Our relationship turned into nightly phone calls, online escape rooms, sending letters in the mail, and finding other ways to continue to strengthen our connection. 

One of the simplest pieces of advice I could give to someone who is choosing to do long distance is talk on the phone. It sounds silly and maybe too simple but it really is the key to feeling closer to your partner. I asked Hayden and he agreed: “Being able to call or facetime is important. Having that connection makes a difference. It depends on what’s going on personally, but being able to call once a day or minimum once a week is crucial”. This is something that has been particularly important for our relationship. We had both heard that it’s a horrible idea to text all day when you’re long distance because it leaves you with nothing to talk about at the end of the day. For us, this is not the case. I feel like when you’ve found your person it’s easy to find things to talk about all day. I text Hayden lots throughout my day, which makes me all the more excited to call him at the end of the day. This of course is not true for everyone but it is what works for us.

Seeing the positives and having a strong mindset is very important when it comes to your relationship, regardless of distance. It would be so easy to list out everything I hate about long-distance, but I’ll save that for my diary. Something that has helped me is reflecting on all of the things that I’ve been able to do because of the distance between Hayden and I. I have really grown as a person. I can confidently say that I am not the same girl I was two years ago. I have become very comfortable doing things myself, I’ve made some of my best friends and been able to focus on the growth of new relationships, and I’ve found hobbies I really enjoy that I can pour my heart into (like this article). Hayden says, “During long distance I’ve been able to grow as an individual and work on myself. I’ve made new friends and been able to try new hobbies, all while having someone in my corner and knowing that she’ll always have my back”. 

One big point I would like to bring up is that a lot of people claim that having a partner in college “ruins the college experience.” I would like to meet the person who came up with this idea and ask them who broke their heart. I’m not saying that this claim is wrong, I just believe that it is very situational. I am not one who believes that hook-up culture is my version of the “college experience”, so obviously being in a relationship hasn’t ruined mine. If you are with someone who values that kind of lifestyle more than your relationship, then you probably weren’t meant to be with them anyway. That’s not a dig on them or you, it’s just my opinion. 

The college experience can be whatever you want it to be, that’s what is so beautiful about being at this stage in your life. You have control over your own narrative. So personally, being in a relationship hasn’t ruined it for me at all. I don’t regret that I chose this path for myself because this is my preferred college experience. I asked Hayden for his opinion on this matter, partially for the article and partially because I wanted some reassurance that he felt the same way. He said, “Being in a long distance relationship hasn’t ruined college for me because I believe that we have a large amount of trust for each other, and we can still have our own lives without it impacting each other negatively. Relationships without trust that place restrictions on what you can and cannot do don’t tend to do well based on what we have seen. It’s hard to live your life as an individual when there are heavy restrictions.” I think Hayden makes some important points. For example, we don’t tell each other that we can’t go out to a party or gathering because we know that that’s just a part of our own college experiences. We know that it’s important for the both of us to go and experience those kinds of activities. I would like to make it clear that this is not to be confused with boundaries. It is very important to set boundaries in your relationship and speak up if anything makes you feel uncomfortable. Again, it is something that you have to discuss with your partner and find out what feels right to you. 

The tiktoks were right, long distance is hard and sometimes it sucks. But to me, it has never felt not worth it.  My experience with it has been bitter-sweet:there are so many days where all I want to do is sit with Hayden and talk about what we have going on. Nothing beats a good ole’ in person conversation. Despite this, we constantly find ways of connecting and deepening our relationship and we’ve been able to really grow as individuals in addition to strengthening our relationship. This article was one of those connection builders. Reflecting back on positive and negative aspects of our relationship was a really healthy check in for us. It helped us express if we felt that there was anything lacking or if there were things we felt like could change. If you’re currently doing long distance or even if you’re not, consider having a check in with your partner. It’s important to understand how they’re feeling and it’s important to express your own feelings to them as well. Relationships are not one sided. Find what works for the both of you. 

The moral of the story is don’t let silly little TikToks make you question something you already felt strongly about. Just because someone said that it won’t work or you shouldn’t try doesn’t mean that it’s not worth a try. You know yourself and your own situation better than anyone else, trust in that. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

So would I recommend long distance? Not necessarily. It would never be my first choice but, I think that it really is a wonderful thing to know that you’re becoming the best version of yourself and so is your partner. It certainly is not the worst thing to have ever happened to me and I would always tell anyone to give it a shot. The absolute worst case scenario is that you break up, it really cannot get worse than that. But either way, I promise you’ll survive.

Katie Baxter

CU Boulder '26

Katie Baxter is a contributing writer and member of the social media team for Her Campus at the University of Colorado-Boulder chapter. She is a sophomore studying Strategic Communications and minoring in Business. She loves to keep up with and write about trends, sports, pop culture, and more. She will often write about her own experiences tied in with topics that fascinate her. Katie has always loved to write for fun, but has never gained any professional writing experience. She is looking to gain experience from Her Campus both in her writing and social media talents. Social media is something she has always been interested in, and potentially wants to continue working with it in the future. She loves to stay busy and is always thinking of new articles to pitch! When Katie is not writing or doing school work, you will oftentimes find her spending time with her roommates and friends. She is a Colorado native and loves watching/ playing sports, going to see the newest movie, or finding a new restaurant and places to shop! She is not a big coffee lover, but she absolutely loves chai and is on the hunt to find the best one in all of Boulder.