Arts & Culture

Long Distance Relationships While Studying: Worth It?

Long distance relationships. Are they worth the tears, the fights, the goodbyes and those precious moments you finally see each other? Do you like someone but your goals and dreams are in the way at the moment so you have to sail to another country or move to another city to study? You’ve got nothing to lose to try and see for yourself if this could work. Most certainly you’ll get valuable experiences from this. But, there are a few things you need to know first.

Relationships in general are not easy, but long distance ones require extra effort and are a little bit harder. I can tell you this from firsthand experience, when I got myself into one during my second year of studying. I had already got a taste of how student life is, and yet I chose to give this relationship a chance without overthinking it. And in my experience, this was the best way to start – by not overthinking.

Studying away from home can alone be stressful, so knowing that you are leaving a piece of your heart behind can put you off your game. Of course student life requires working hard and being responsible but it also requires a bit of partying and carefreeness. Being a person that when I’m in a relationship I lose my balance in life, the night outs that I sacrificed for Skype calls were countless. It started as something new and exciting but then inevitably became an unhealthy part of the relationship. I started going out less and less convincing myself that I was over the “going out phase”.

Guess what? Huge mistake. Without even realising it when you two really want it to work you end up isolating yourselves either by refusing to go out just so you can Skype each other or by going out only to be checking your phone the whole time. This happens because you think the best to make this work is by giving all your attention to your partner thinking this will cover up their physical absence. The physical absence cannot be covered up, either by calling or texting. The truth is that you need to find a way of communicating so you don’t trapped into an unhealthy situation.

The most important thing is to realize that you need to put your mental health on top and keep in mind that your student years will never come back. I am not saying that you should be out drinking and partying every day, but there are a lot things to do when you are a student that will make you a more complete person. Trips, meeting new people, trying new things, getting out of your comfort zone and much more. Unfortunately your long distance partner might not enjoy that and they’ll most likely show it.

Instead of drifting away from all these things to keep your partner happy and you relationship “functional”, you should make a compromise. Talk to each other openly about the things you want to do or planning to do, and never hide anything. If they don’t seem to understand your need to live your student years to the fullest, then proceed to the nearest exit. You’ll save yourself from so much drama, believe me.

After all, if this relationship doesn’t work, another will. When you’re in your twenties, your number one priority should be you. Relationships should make people happy, not miserable. If you can’t handle the burden of a long distance relationship then part ways in the nicest way and keep a sweet memory of the whole experience.

Featured image credit – Lorna McKenzie