Long Distance Relationships at Uni (And Why They’re So Worth It)

When I cast my mind back to Freshers last year, I have very mixed emotions. It was an undoubtedly carefree fun time in my life and I definitely made the most out of it. But Freshers also got me thinking, why is it that people in long distance relationships at uni get so much stick?

On more occasions than I would like to remember when I have told people that I am in a long distance relationship, there’s an inevitably blank look on the person’s face and a clear sense of confusion/revulsion at that prospect (yes, really). To many people, the only way to do uni ‘right’ is to be single, carefree and to ditch all responsibilities and get rid of any ‘baggage’ you may have.

I’m often asked if I’ve ever considered being single at uni and whether I feel like I’m missing out, because I’m in a relationship. And my answer is always simple and very much to the point. I’m very happy with my partner. ‘Singledom’ at uni hasn’t even crossed my mind and I don’t miss out on anything; my uni experience is what I make of it, after-all…

Why on earth would I throw away a happy relationship, to be single at uni just because the general consensus states that the two aren’t compatible? I don’t want to have to put up with guys that I’m not really interested in, have no real connection with and don’t even fancy, just because most people deem being single as the ideal uni experience? And I certainly do not miss the pressure of feeling like I have to shave my legs before a night out  (trivial yes, but oh the truth of it!)
Being long distance with someone at uni doesn’t make me boring and it certainly doesn’t make my uni experience any less or more fun than the next single person’s. I love to let my hair down, I love to get the tequilas out and I love spending time with my friends. I don’t schedule in 3 hour Facetime/Skype calls into my daily routine; my partner has his own life at uni and we contact each other when we can. We take it in turns to visit each other at uni, usually every 3/4 weeks and that works just fine for us. I love going to his uni and meeting all of his friends, who are absolutely lovely, and he loves coming down to meet mine.

Yes, there are obvious downsides to being long distance. It can be really hard sometimes and missing someone can be the worst pain imaginable. But distance can be the best thing for any relationship and I truly believe it has helped my relationship to work as well as it does.

Time apart means I have time to really discover who I am and who I want to be. I don’t feel any pressure trying to appease other people all the time in how I look, how I behave or trying to prove how much of a single party girl I am, because trust me this seems to be the single girl consensus at my uni. I love having time to myself and it’s that time to myself which makes me miss and appreciate my boyfriend more than I probably would if I was around him all the time.

The patience, maturity and trust needed to make a long distance relationship are traits that I value far more than being able to get as many lacrosse players’ numbers as I can on a night out at Fab….

I love being able to fill my boyfriend in with what I’ve been up to that day and bore him to death with something I found really interesting in a lecture. If I’ve had some particularly upsetting news from back home, I find so much comfort in being able to confide in my partner who really understands what I’m going through. I know my uni friends are always there for me and I’m so grateful for that, but that feeling of comfort and release doesn’t really compare to the feeling of comfort your partner can give you.

So yes, there is a place for long distance relationships at uni, and yes if you care about the person, they’re totally worth it. I don’t care to understand the seemingly universal attitude at uni towards long distance relationships, but it’s characterised by negativity and it definitely exists.

It’s so important for me to defend long distance relationships at uni because I don’t understand why the maturity that is required to sustain a long distance relationship equates to being ‘boring’ and why long distance relationships at uni are often painted as less fulfilling uni experiences, than somebody who is single.

Antonia x

*This is a guest article written by Antonia, who runs her own blog Antonia Writes.       Follow Antonia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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