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How To Cope With Long Distance Relationships

Studying abroad is not for everyone, especially when you have never really been that far from your loved ones. This year I spent a few months away from everything that I have ever known in South Carolina. It was tough, but I got through it!

My internship was with Walt Disney World, and I worked at EPCOT for merchandise. I was so excited for it, and kept telling my friends and family that I was ready to go and would miss them, but would be perfectly okay. I was totally wrong about that, and because I had put on a brave face in the beginning, I never felt like I could come clean about missing them.

For some background information: I lost someone very important to me just a few days before leaving, and my best friend also lost her father. It was so hard realizing that I was going to be leaving her and her family to start a new adventure. My grandmother completely ruined her ankle the day before I left, and I am very close with her, so it was heartbreaking knowing that she was dealing with this injury without me.

So, how did I cope with all of this anxiety at once? I kept in touch with my loved ones. Communication is the most important key to long distance relationships. I called a lot, FaceTimed, sent pictures and videos if I remembered. It was a lot to process. I eventually even had my love bug (dog) Ryder with me, so that made things a thousand percent easier. I know it sounds pretty bland and cliché, but I would not have survived without the phone calls. Just hearing their voices made things better for me.

As far as relationships with significant others, that's a whole other story. Physical touch is not my love language, so being away from a significant other has never been hard for me. It's hard for me to give advice on this just because I didn't necessarily have an S/O while I was in Orlando. In the past when I had to do long distance a few years ago, the best thing was FaceTime. It was nice hearing their voice, seeing their face, and just seeing their surroundings as well. I love facial expressions and I love making others laugh, so being able to see someone's smile makes it all the better.

To sum up everything, communication is 100% key. You cannot expect to have a healthy relationship without communication, whether this is with your family, friends, or a significant other.

I highly recommend studying away from your college campus at some point. It showed me that I am so grateful for the University of South Carolina and my friends, but it also gave me a chance to explore what else there is for me. Stay tuned for when I study abroad in 2022! Italy or Barcelona? I can't decide!

Sophia Martin

South Carolina '22

Sophia is an Advertising major who loves writing, her dog Ryder, chai lattes, and writing content. She is beyond excited to see where she can lead the South Carolina chapter as president.
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