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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 Washington chapter.

As a freshman in college doing long-distance, I feel as though my experience at university is vastly different than that of my peers. Care-free nights out are coupled with long Facetime calls, friends can be viewed as threatening, and I feel as though so much of my life is spent in communication over the phone. Is long-distance dating in college worth it? Here are some of the things I wish I had known before deciding to do it, what my overall experience has been, and if I would do it all over again. 

Firstly, long-distance has to be looked at subjectively and examined on a case-by-case basis. How long you have been with your partner, what kind of people you both are, the dependency you have on each other, and the schools you both go to are, I believe, critical points of examination when deciding if you want to continue dating a high-school boyfriend or girlfriend in college. There are different kinds of relationships: ones you pursue for security, ones based on obsession, and ones where you truly do feel comfortable and independent of the other person. The third is the best type of relationship to continue in college. Having been in relationships of all three calibers, I think the latter is not only the healthiest, of course, but the one that is going to fare the best in a situation where its members are apart. I have witnessed (and experienced) so many relationships based on infatuation, or a need to feed one’s ego—these are quickly going to become irrelevant in a novel environment such as college, with new pools of people, new experiences, and new avenues for change. In order to continue a long-distance relationship in college, both parties need to be completely trusting of the other, open to letting their partner experience new things, and willing to branch out and generate their own life independently of the other. 

Something that I did not realize before entering long distance with my partner would be the amount of effort it would require to stay in touch and communicate with them. I think it’s important for people to realize that if they want to pursue a long-distance relationship successfully, they are going to need to make a big commitment to their partner—one that is going to take up a lot of time. Leaving parties to chat on the phone, staying up later than I would like because night-time is the only time we both are free to talk, and making sure I’m checking my phone in intervals so as not to miss any messages or updates are all things I have found myself doing. Before college, I never would have considered myself someone dependent on my phone, but now, I feel as though I need to bring it everywhere in case I happen to miss an important call or text from my partner. 

Another word of advice: recognize that they will become a representation of home. As someone who moved across the country for college, my partner from high school is someone who I have inherently connected to my hometown and the life that I left. There is a dynamism to this; on the one hand, it is a comfort, knowing that despite our distance, I still have connections to the place I call home. On the other hand, I feel as though this connection can be a bit of an obstacle to my growth in college in a new city and state. I feel as though the presence of my relationship may act as something that is holding me back and tying me negatively to a life and a version of myself that I have left behind. 

I am very happy in my relationship and feel extremely secure in myself and in my partner. That being said, I do believe that the version of college I am experiencing is a bit different than the typical one. I am not suggesting anyone break up with their partner before college, nor am I saying that I think you must date your partner in college if you feel your relationship meets the aforementioned criteria. I am simply trying to point out both the pros and cons and provide some information that I wish I had known before deciding to date my partner through college. Given the experience and my love for them, I would definitely do it all again; however, I do wonder how different I would be, or how different my experience would be, had I gone into college entirely independent of another.

Ella Goulet

Washington '27

Hi! My name is Ella Goulet and I am a freshman at the UW. I plan to double major in psychology and political science with a minor in history or journalism. I love writing and spend most of my free time journaling or working on short stories. Back in Alexandria, VA (my hometown), I was a chief editor for my high school's literary magazine, "Cambridge Road." I recently joined the HER campus writing team, and I am extremely excited to begin working for them.   My favorite topics to write about include mental healthy, current events, and ways to take advantage of living in the Seattle area (as I am a new resident), so you will find a lot of information about those topics on my page. I plan to continue my writing career at the UW and for Her Campus throughout my time here, and hope to become a writer for The Daily.