Right before the spring semester went to online only, I was able to travel 2,500 miles and three time zones away to visit my boyfriend. While I am studying at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California; he is on an internship on the other side of the United States in Washington D.C.
Now I will be the first one to admit that during a long distance relationship you will have to make a lot of changes to your life. You will also go through some of the hardest times in your relationship. But I can confidently say that it is definitely worth it to go on exchange and do long-distance with your significant other.
There are a lot of changes we had to make and get used to while being so far away from each other. My boyfriend and I met in college during my freshman year, and we live about twenty minutes away from each other when we are back home. This means that we got used to seeing each other very often. Going on exchange forced us to go from seeing each other every day to seeing each other every couple of months. This was a huge adjustment, but we worked through it by doing a few things to make it easier. One of the things that we made sure to do was plan when we would see each other next. My boyfriend came to visit me last semester here in California, and this semester I made plans to visit him in D.C. over my spring break. Another thing that we had to get used to was planning times to facetime each other. After class on Wednesday’s and after work on Sunday’s are dedicated to facetiming my boyfriend. This allows us to catch up on the exciting things happening in our lives. Lastly, we had to adjust to the time change. This meant that I started getting up earlier, and he started going to bed later just so we could have those few extra hours to talk to each other. We both knew that we were going to have to make some changes in order to get through this, but we were both willing.
Although long-distance is extremely hard at times, it does have some good qualities as well. One thing that I have noticed is that every time my boyfriend and I do get to see each other in person, it is so much more special. We have learned to trust each other through anything and communicate with each other like we never had before. Being long-distance has taught us that we are a lot stronger than we thought, and we can get through anything together even if we are not physically together.
I know one of the biggest things holding people back from studying away through NSE is that they are in a relationship. A lot of people cannot look past the hard work that it will take and the hardships that they will face. I am here to tell you that although long-distance has been hard, I would do it all over again if I got the chance. My relationship with my boyfriend has been tested, but we have become a stronger couple because of it. At the end of the day, he supports me and all of my life choices. Don’t let anything stop you from studying through NSE, because no matter what stage you are in life, you can make it work.
Submitted by Brandi Norum