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Long-Distance: Not Just Love, Only Uncool if You’re Uncool

Long-distance never works. 

You are heartbreak-bound. 

Cut it off. 

There are other fish in the sea. 


The world has told us that long distance relationships don’t work. That may be true, in a romantic context. However, I am here to discuss the other kind of long-distance relationship: friendship. 


Walking up to my best friend’s driveway on a muggy August 17, with Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” playing in my head as though I were writing the ending to my own cliché coming of age movie, I feared I was entering a final scene. Sure, we would still be ‘friends’ that got coffee once a year and told each other stories composed of names the other didn’t know. She, like all my other friends, would move on. This would be the last scene in our best-selling, family-friendly, comedy-gold and heart-warming cinematic masterpiece. Long-distance never works.


So, I was wrong. Maybe all the stupid movies I watched of sappy college send-aways had made me desperately crave some dramatic ending, and feel as though I was entitled to it. Maybe I feared college was a fork in the road and we had chosen different routes and would therefore never see one another again. As I said, I was wrong. 


Long-distance works, so long as you do too. 


In college, my dad’s hall had one wall phone. This singular phone is where all the boys living on the floor received calls. If you missed your buddy Will calling and no one else picked up, you may never get the message. We are blessed and cursed, to live in a time with cell phones, but that’s another story. Use them for what they are made for, you can take a break from watching a YouTube video on how to dupe a Glossier makeup product to call your best friend. Yes, texting is a form of communication, but it is not the same. Take time out of your day, your week, or even your month to call your best friend. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you. 

Snail mail is one of my favorite things in the world. Not only are you hearing from your dearest friends, but you also get to see their doodles in the margins, you get to hold something tangible of theirs, you get to hear what they sat down and took time to just tell you. On top of that, you get a notification that you have mail which is a whole lot more exciting than a text message notification popping up on a screen. How much more personal is a two-page letter written in dull pencil lead on loose-leaf paper, the binder rings fraying from where it was ripped out of their statistics notebook. 


how r u


on a dull screen, you have been staring at already for forty-five minutes?    


Simply make an effort and long-distance will work: dial that phone number, sit down and write about your day.  Don’t try and write yourself into a Disney tween movie, your friends are not going anywhere.

Some friends, however, may not want to put in the effort. That is just the way that things are. Do not try and overcompensate for their laziness. Let them drink away their fear of mediocrity at some frat party, pretending they’re truly enjoying themselves. You continue to foster the relationships that give you what you need. The people will stay that are meant to, some just may have to go. 


Now, if you do heed my advice and work to maintain your friendships from high school, I do have a precautionary warning for you: do not focus solely on the past. You cannot live in the past, you can only recollect. Find the balance between devoting time to those you care about at other schools while also cultivating your new relationships. Relationships are largely about who is there, being there is the best advantage attainable to harboring a friendship (whether that is physical closeness or mental availability). Be there for your people and you will be fine. 


Long-distance does work. Do you? 


Photo Credits: Google Images

Caroline is a student at VCU double majoring in theatre performance and psychology! Her favorite things include dance parties, chai lattes, and poetry.
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