The familiar dial rang through my earbuds as I sat by an outlet in my dorm hallway. It was a comfortable Saturday afternoon that had at first been occupied by essay writing and “small breaks” in-between for social media and online shopping. But now, my eyes were focused on my own face being reflected back at me as the uncompromising pinging continued to repeat. I adjusted my glasses and fixed my hair as I waited for my own face to be replaced by someone else that I was more excited to see: my boyfriend. I smiled politely to my roommate who was passing by and going inside our room. She gave me a thumbs up and winked.
It was our two-year anniversary and though we weren’t able to celebrate together in person, our day wasn’t any less special. Though I wanted to surprise him by going back home, college schedules are tough. If it isn’t classes, it may be other obligations such as clubs or other campus activities, which was what hindered my ability to leave where I was, even if just for a day.
I’ve had lots of people ask me, “How do you keep up with being apart?”
Finding time is difficult but as the saying goes, communication really is key. College life gets busy and it seems as if we are being pulled in all kinds of different directions but at the end of the day, it's important to return back to the person that has your back no matter what kind of day you're having. Simple things regarding what the day was like or how classes were not only help fill each other in on what is happening but gives each other a glimpse of what your new world looks like.
Although FaceTime and texts can help sometimes, just the presence of your SO can make things all the better. Personally, I am very lucky to only live two hours away from my hometown and to be able to find my way back home occasionally throughout the school year. It is important, if possible, to try and see each other even if only during the holidays and breaks. Of course, it isn't always easy and schedules tend to conflict often. However, for us, no matter how far in advance it took to plan, it was always worth trying if it meant that we would be able to see each other again.
Long distance made our relationship stronger, yes, but we had to work twice as hard as we did before. Sometimes, we fought about things that we never thought could even be fought about in the first place. However, love is a choice. We chose to wake up every morning and text, "Good morning, I hope you have a great day. I love you." We chose to make time for each other because no matter how busy life gets, it's us who get to choose what and who gets to be a priority in our lives.
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