Moving away from home involves a lot more than experiencing a new place, living with new people, and starting a new life. Everything is new but there is some aspect of the old that you want to keep, such as your friendships and relationships back at home. When I moved away I found it to be refreshing that I could easily drop those toxic relationships that were detrimental to my well-being, but it was worse that I could not see the people I truly cared about as often as I wanted to. It was definitely a difficult transition but I learned some tips on how to maintain those relationships when I was away.
Simple enough, we’ve got to communicate. I know that it’s not the same as face to face but thank goodness we have Face Time and cell phones to communicate with each other. It’s such a blessing that we can call whenever the time is right. Our lives get pretty hectic, but setting aside the time to talk to those you care about is incredibly important.
- Share Moments
You don’t always have to set aside a time for a full on phone conversation. Take pictures of those moments that make you happy during your day and send them to your friends and family. Snapchat is perfect for this. Then, when your friends and family have the time, they can respond and enjoy that moment with you.
- Embrace Your Tears
It’s evident that when we miss people, we cry, and that’s okay. As long as you cope with the sadness in a healthy manner, this can only make your relationships stronger because it shows that you care. To cope, try joining a group on campus and having a support group. Go to the Counseling and Psychological services or call the Middle Earth Hotline. Write out your feelings or sing a sad song. This can only strengthen your relationships.
- Always Have Your Next Get-Together Planned
We have weekends and breaks during the semester for a reason, so we can go home! Mark it on your calendar and plan out who you are going to see as soon as you get home and what you are going to do with them. This can lessen that tensed feeling you get when you don’t see someone for a long period of time.
- Keep Yourself Busy
I know this may sound like a step back from maintaining a long distance relationship but when you’re busy and your people back at home are busy, there will be less worry on your shoulders when you send a text and don’t get a response right away. It can also keep you moving in that direction you are headed in, the reason you did move away.
The most amazing thing about long distance is that when you have this space between you and your circle of friends back at home, you begin to realize who is really there for you and who is not. You’ll begin to see who contributes to that effort you’re putting out to stay in contact and who isn’t. You may even find yourself not wanting to contribute to a previous relationship when you move away and meet new people. This change is good, because you are discovering who you are and what you want in your life. As for the people you’re missing right now, they want to see you succeed as much as you do. So stick it out for them and for you. You are a strong individual and you’ve got this down.