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To the boy who got me through – Preparing for Long Distance

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

My third year of college was during 2021-2022. This was technically the first time we were back on campus after COVID-19, but a significant number of classes, including all of mine for the fall semester, were still online.

I was 20, had just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and formally diagnosed with anxiety. I just lost my childhood cat of almost 18 years, my rat that was my best friend, and my grandma who had practically raised me my entire life. I had made the difficult decision to drop my Korean minor, which I loved, and although I wasn’t far in the process, this is also when I had to give up on studying abroad.

I had just ended a two-year-long relationship with someone I had known since I was 13.

Needless to say, the start of my junior year was nothing short of horrible.

I had my friends that I made during my second year in East Lansing, I had already signed a lease, I had a job, and I was excited to move out, it just didn’t make sense for me to stay home so even though we were online, I was here. 

I wouldn’t say I was alone in any of this, I truly had people around me who supported me. Some of them ended up not having the best intentions but we live, we learn, and we push through with the ones who do care.

One of my friends that I’ve had since I was about 17 was coming to MSU as a second year, he had taken his first year back at home. And while I am forever grateful for our friendship, he has helped me out through a lot of tough times, he was the one who introduced me to my current partner of over two years now, Bennett.

I wasn’t looking for a relationship when we met and I had zero interest in trying to start something after leaving my previous one because that was extremely complicated.

The first time we met was memorable for us both and involved a lot of glitter. Like a ton of glitter, everywhere. As a retired cheerleader going to a music festival, I was covered in it. I had just gotten barricade to see my favorite band and it was my first time seeing them so I was ecstatic.

He hated glitter. Ironically, he still hates glitter even after being with a cheer coach for several years now.

It didn’t take long for us to fall for each other, but it took forever for either of us to admit it even though everyone around us knew. We were completely different, such an unlikely pair but we truly balanced each other out.

Flash forward, we both just graduated from MSU with our bachelor’s degrees. The week after graduation, I got the news I never thought I would get. He was going to move to Germany to do his Masters.

Two years. Two years without my person. Two years without a co-parent to all my pets. Truly, my other half. He is the only one who gets all of my TikTok references and always says the next line back even if he thinks it’s stupid.

Thank you, Bennett. You helped me more than you could ever know. You became family when I didn’t have any. You help me hold my cool, you always deal with my random spurts of energy, and when I get angry over dumb things.

Years later, I still light up when I see a text from you. I love it when you geek out over our favorite things. Going on walks, spending time with our pets, lots and lots of video games. Plus, my favorite thing is forehead kisses, gotta love a 14-inch height difference.

Long distance is going to be hard. I would be lying if I said that I think either of us is prepared for this journey, but, when you meet your person, you just know. I’m scared, I’m still upset, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end.

Even through it all, I still love my engi-nerd.

When you find your people, you need to hold onto them. We’re going to do just that. I know I’m about to get familiar with WhatsApp and am going to spend a lot of time studying German on Duolingo.

Kaytlyn is a Senior at MSU majoring in Marketing and minoring in Creative Writing. She has been a published journalist and writer for over six years. Kaytlyn is currently the Chapter President and Campus Correspondent for HCMSU as well as being involved in the Campus Trendsetters program, College Fashionista program, and the HCM Internship Credit program. Outside of Her Campus, Kaytlyn has two cats, Leo and Zelda, as well as a ferret named Willow. She is also the President, Marketing Director, and a co-founder of the Creative Writing Club at MSU. She is also a cheer coach.