So far, yet so close

Willis

By Brianna Willis, Assistant Features Editor 

Long distance relationships. The name alone makes me shiver. Having to be in a relationship over miles and miles has always been, and always will be, stressful.

However, I think they get a bad rap. Not every LDR is bad or dysfunctional.  Stress, sure, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it. In fact, not every LDR is romantic in nature. Sometimes, the hardest LDRs to maintain are platonic ones.

Christina and I met our freshman year of college at Webster University. My first encounter I remember with her was sitting next to each other at the first floor program, watching “The Hunger Games.” I don’t know why we started talking, but we did, and my life has been better ever since then.

I transferred to Murray State the fall semester of what should have been my junior year, albeit a semester behind.  It was rough at times, but somehow, three years later, we are still friends. We don’t even talk every day, even though she’s probably my only friend I talk to on the phone consistently.

Once again, I find myself in that LDR situation. Only this time, like I left my Webster friends, some of my Murray friends have left me.  Some of my best friends in this whole world have moved states away, or even within Kentucky, but too far for me to frequently pop over for a visit.

It’s hard walking to class without them. It’s hard being in the newsroom, typing this column, as my news friends slowly graduate and move on to bigger and better things. It’s hard trying to find time to communicate with one another amidst our “big girl jobs” and senior theses.

Romantically, I was in a three-year LDR. It was one of the most tasking things I’ve ever had to maintain. The struggle of trying to balance diving into the college experience, and branching out, while trying to make time for a significant other who can’t physically be there with you, is tough to say the least.

Despite the stress and anguish of trying to maintain a healthy and vibrant LDR, that doesn’t mean the joy of having them is lost. There is nothing better than getting that text, that letter in the mail or that phone call after a long day of work. My face lights up every time I see I have a snap from one of my friends in another city and something they saw reminded me of them, or vice versa.

This is where social media and modern technology comes in handy. I can look down on my phone and begin a new conversation with one of my friends as if we’re back in the B-Hive sitting on the couch with a glass of wine and music playing in the background. I can check my friends’ tweets to see if they’re doing okay, make sure I haven’t been neglecting them.

I still appreciate the little things like an old fashioned letter like I’ve received from a few of my LDR friends. I even appreciated some of the presents my ex-boyfriend got me after months apart.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am more sentimental as the days go by. I miss my friends and family, sure. However, I have memories and photos that make it easier and easier. When I get to the end of my life it won’t matter that we were apart for so long. I’ll have a trophy collection with immense value from the times we were or weren’t in the same city. Soon, I’ll see them again, and it’ll be like we never missed a beat.