Long distance relationships can work
Valentine’s Day has been and gone, but the sentiment still remains for me. This was the first Valentine’s Day I was able to spend with my other half since moving away to study in Derby.
It takes me back to the first memories I had as a student, where an older student told me that my university experience would be a relationship killer and as I started to settle in my new accommodation, I witnessed the break-up of other relationships, but I was fortunate to not have to experience it myself. It was official – I was in a long-distance relationship.
At times it was hard, especially during deadline period or when my other half had to work longer hours. However, as I am nearing the end of my studies I have to admit that it has enabled me to develop as a person and our relationship is now stronger than ever. The rewards are definitely worth the tears and the struggle to manage both my university commitments and a life back home.
A long-distance relationship requires a lot of commitment, trust and compromise. For me, student nights out and evenings at the pub were swapped for Skype and train journeys home. I personally decided to not look for a part-time job as it meant I would have had less time to spend with my partner which meant I relied solely on my student loans and grants, but it also pushed me into looking at volunteering roles so I could be flexible and still develop professionally.
I have been lucky in the sense that I have had the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds. I have been able to live in halls, meet new people and develop as an academic but I have also had the support and patience of someone back home who truly believes in me, which I feel is incredibly important as you go through the tests of a degree.
Whatever anyone tells you, long-distance relationships are not the wrong choice when you move to university, but they are hard. It is important to communicate and trust the person you are with but I think that goes for any sort of relationship. Expect times where it will be hard and at times lonely, but if you truly believe in your relationship then it will work.