Tips for Doing Long Distance In College

Like many coming into college in their freshman year, I was in a long-distance relationship with a high school boyfriend and was hopeful that it would last. 

However, near the end of the first semester it ended. My needs for the relationship weren’t being met, I was wasting time waiting for a phone call from my significant other, and I just wasn’t happy. 

Now, I’m in another long-distance relationship with someone who I met over the summer, and I'm a lot happier than any other relationship I’ve ever been in.

Long distance isn’t meant for everyone, and it all depends on you and your partner’s needs and expectations, but as someone who has experience with this I'll share my tips on how to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship while trying to balance school, work, and a social life.


Be prepared that it may not work at first

In my current and previous long-distance relationship, we started by playing it by year with no expectations. We were prepared that long distance might not work out. If you and your partner are new to long distance, try starting out with no expectations, and seeing how it plays out for the both of you.


Communicate, communicate, communicate

This is a responsibility for both of you. If you know what your needs are for the relationship, tell your partner. Communication is key- especially in long distance.


Plan on visiting

Although not always possible depending on the distance between you and your partner, trying to spend time with your significant other could definitely help keep your relationship alive. If you see that you are able to work out a time to go visit your partner in your schedule, like during a break, do it. You deserve to be able to spend time with someone you care about and who makes you happy. Traveling also costs a lot of money, so be thankful and appreciative of your partner when they come to visit you.


Send letters or gifts

If you wanna get creative and corny, send handwritten letters to each other. If you have the money, you can send flowers or a care package. 


Make time for each other

Make time to talk on the phone, Skype or Facetime each other. Be there for your partner when they’re feeling blue. 


Be understanding of their workload

My boyfriend is a senior in college and works three jobs. As you can see, he has his plate full. I am always understanding when he can’t make time to Facetime or call me when I’ve had a hard day. Even so, he always tries to make time to talk to me. Keep in mind that if your partner is also in college and that they also might be trying to balance work, school, and social life. Understand that they won’t be able to visit you as often as you wish they would too. Learn how to distract yourself by hanging out with friends or binge-watching a TV show during times when your partner can’t be there for you.


Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

The most important thing to note about long distance is if there is an end goal. Being apart from your significant other hurts, but knowing that you’ll be together again makes long distance worthwhile. With my first long-distance relationship, I thought that he was going to transfer schools so he could be closer to me, but it turned out he was happy where he was and dealing with transferring schools was stressful for him. We both wanted each other to be happy, and if that meant that our paths would go in different directions and that we’d have to end the relationship, then so be it. With my current boyfriend he plans on moving to Chicago after he graduates to find a job. Being in a long-distance relationship while not being sure if you or your partner’s paths will align in the near future is awful. Knowing that there is something to look forward to and that being far apart is only temporary will make a long distance relationship possible. It’s not worth clinging onto a relationship when you know that it won’t work in the future.


Do what you can

Don’t let this list intimidate you, if you feel like you’re giving your all and have to give more for your relationship to work, don’t. Long distance isn’t easy while in college.While the needs vary from person to person when it comes to relationships, it’s important to know yours.


I created this guideline from what I’ve experienced personally. You don’t have to follow all the tips I have given if you don’t want to, but what matters the most is that your relationship is healthy, and that you’re happy.