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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 SLU chapter.

Starting college brings about countless new opportunities for people socially and educationally. However, what this means for people dating in high school is that they have to make the decision whether to stay together or separate, that is if they’re going to different schools. Many people decide to try a long distance relationship, or they don’t, because it sounds too scary and risky. Having started a long distance relationship in November, I have been able to understand the struggle and wonders of long distance. 

Leaving home and moving to a completely new city for college is terrifying enough on its own. Life changes when we are forced to move away from the people we love to thousands of strangers we have no connections with. What is unexpected, however, is how moving away from people familiar to new college students means that we have more time to talk to each other about ourselves and each other’s separate lives. Going into college, the very last thing I expected was to build such a stronger connection with people while not being around them than I did when we lived in the same city. I would argue that feelings build more densely when two people are away from each other. It fosters a deeper, more complex and constant form of communication between two people that outputs a stronger emotional bond. 

The best things come when you least expect them” is a phrase that had never really caught my attention until this past fall, but is now something I completely understand. You could say the timing is impeccable. Knowing someone through mutual friends, talking to them a couple times and not thinking twice about it, then, moving away and realizing that the connection the two of us have is so much different than anything I have ever experienced before. A connection so exceptional that the distance between you two feels like nothing. A connection so great that you know that you can’t throw it away because of the terrifyingly large amount of miles between your schools. I knew what was happening to my feelings, and I took it and ran. I could not bring myself to let the opportunity for love pass. Personally, what is worth having is what makes me feel like the best version of myself.

Long distance relationships are not for the weak. It is tough to accept that the people who make you the happiest can also make you the saddest. With every hello comes a goodbye, and sometimes the goodbye lasts for months. There is a feeling when they leave that they have stolen a piece of yourself and it will not be rebuilt for a while. You each have a city that you call home, but you know it doesn’t quite feel like home completely. I have realized the rebuilding comes through knowing that the happiness the other person gives you and the memories you make together is completely worth every bit of sadness, worry and pain that comes with it. Love is not limited to a certain distance between two people or what city they live in. Love is found in things that you don’t expect, such as embracing them after months of being apart, listening to a song and remembering that it played on the drive to the airport to say goodbye. It is about finding the love that is not physical, but the part of love that is felt with the heart.

My name is Claire Kleffner, I am a freshman at Saint Louis University studying psychology on pre-law track with a minor in Spanish. I have no experience writing for any media/news source so I am anxious to start! I love talking about pop culture topics and any news going on that surrounds me, as well as writing, so combining those two things to write articles for HerCampus is something I'm very excited about. I love shopping, food, music, working out, and being around the people I love!