Preserving Your Long-Distance Relationship at College


Your college experience will be influenced by the people you connect with and the relationships you build. People often emphasize the importance of starting college with an open mind. While this is great advice, let’s be real— everyone is starting this new chapter of their lives with different emotional attachments. Incoming freshmen often feel that in order to enjoy college, they must end their high school relationship –likely due to the widespread idea that previous relationships, especially those that are long-distance, don’t work in college. I however, have been in a long-distance relationship during my time at Syracuse and could not be happier. This is the reality for many freshmen entering college. If you want to maintain your relationship as you transition into college, I have found that commitment and communication are key.

Communication is critical.

Freshman year is full of drastic changes, so rather than fight it, be open to your relationship changing as well. You may have always talked on the phone at a certain time in high school, or eaten lunch together every day. That of course can no longer happen. But that doesn’t mean your relationship is dead. Shift your perspective and be open to a new normal. Communicate with your partner about what consistencies you need from your relationship and soon you’ll grow to cherish the new cadence of you and your partner’s routine.

Communication is critical to fostering a healthy long-distance relationship because you are simply not with each other as much as you were before. If there is an issue or you sense any red flags, be vocal about it. The only way to overcome obstacles in any relationship is to confront them directly and talk it out. Establish strong mutual trust with your partner and be open about the new activities in your life. This transparency will ease both of your emotions during times of self-doubt.

You shouldn’t feel the need to hold back on joining new clubs, or meeting new people. I have always been proactive in meeting new people and pursuing extracurriculars. Keeping busy doesn’t mean I don’t miss my partner, but it has allowed me to focus less on some of difficult realities of a long-distance relationship.

Accept that you will feel defeated and vulnerable at times, but be kind to yourself and your partner–this is all part of the process and it’s only temporary as you adjust to college life.

Make time to make it work.

Thank goodness we live in a time where technology is so readily available. It has enhanced the way we are able to communicate regardless of distance. Designate a time that works for the both of you to Skype or FaceTime and if possible, make it part of your everyday routine. Though you cannot feel your partner’s presence, you are able to hear and see him/her on the screen in front of you. It is inevitable that you will miss your loved one and I will tell you right now, it is not easy. But, take pride in the fact that you miss them and relish it because it means that you have someone worth missing. You share something so special that it makes your heart ache when you count down the days until you see them next. Plan surprise visits to your partner’s college or town–I guarantee you that the expression you will see on their face will make all the lonely times worth it.

Little things count.

Lastly, put in the effort. Something as small as a “good morning” text can make all the difference in your long-distance relationship. It is easy to get caught up with academic and social elements of college, but it helps to know that you are both putting in the effort to work on the relationship as a team, even if it is just a quick five-minute conversation. Sending periodic messages, checking in, or updating your partner about little nuances in your day-to-day life are much appreciated. They want to hear about your day and care about the little details, even if you don’t think they are worth mentioning. Remember, you are not in this alone; you have both have committed to a long-distance relationship with each other. And because you are not able to see each other all the time, every moment spent together will be that much more valuable than before.

Contrary to popular belief, you can still make your college career count without being single or “tied-down.” You know if your relationship is worth it. And if it is, give it a fighting chance as you welcome your first year at Syracuse University.


Eric Chuang ’17, is a  Public Relations major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in English & Textual Studies. Additionally, he is part of the Fashion & Beauty Communications Milestone Program. Eric is a California native, dog enthusiast, fervent traveler, and sushi connoisseur. When not taking Buzzfeed quizzes or coming up with clever Instagram captions, he can most likely be found jamming to Taylor Swift’s “1989” album. More blogs from Eric Chuang.

Do the Dorms Right

I can’t believe that last semester was my last semester living in the ‘Cuse dorms. I’m very excited to have a place off campus this fall, but dorm life is a such a great experience. You’re close to everything, constantly surrounded by friends, and you don’t have to worry about cooking for yourself or cleaning the bathroom. While ultra-convenient, living in a dorm still requires some planning and thought. Here I’ve listed my top five dorm room essentials, based on my on-campus housing experience:  

1. First Aid Kit/ Health Supplies box: Unfortunately, most people are bound to catch a cold at least once a semester (or three times, if you’re like me). It’s always good to have some cough drops or EmergenC on hand, especially during exams when it’s hard to find time to go to CVS.

2. Extra paper towels: Picture yourself lying in bed, studying (or watching Netflix.) You reach over to grab your cup of coffee without looking and spill it all over your desk. I find myself in this situation all too often. Trust me, toilet paper doesn’t get the job done. Keep a couple rolls of paper towels in your room so you don’t have to ask your neighbors for some or use your bath towel to wipe up your latest mess.

3. Doormat: Okay, this might not seem necessary, but trust me, it helps in a place like Syracuse. Coming home with muddy, snowy, wet boots at the end of a winter day and soaking the floor is not a fun way to end a long day of classes. Put your shoes on a small doormat right at the entrance. Not only will you keep the floor dry, but you’re also less likely to misplace your shoes and have to frantically search for them five minutes before class.

4. Bins for storage: Storage for clothes can be tricky, especially if you don’t plan on going home until the end of the semester. Syracuse weather changes very quickly, so even though it seems unnecessary when you move in August to pack a winter jacket, it’s not a bad idea. That being said, you don’t want to be rummaging through your winter hats and sweaters in September when it’s 60 degrees out. Stack storage bins under your bed to keep your clothes organized, easily accessible, but still out of the way.

5. Extra quarters/small bill for laundry: The laundry machines can be a bit temperamental. I’ve been stuck with a pile of wet clothes more than once when the card reader (which you can use to pay for laundry from money on your SuperCard account) wasn’t working. And it’s tougher than you’d think to find someone in the dorms with a spare quarter, so having a few bucks on hand can help you avoid air-drying clothes in your room or exchanging a $20 for 80 quarters.

There ya have it! Pack up these five extra things as you are getting ready to head to the hill and you are ready-made for an even smoother dorm experience.


Samantha Trombley ’18, is public relations and policy studies major. She is originally from Franklin, CT. Sam is a member of Hill Communications, the on-campus public relations firm. She is also a member of the Girl Code Movement, the women’s club lacrosse team, and the Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. In her free time she enjoys hiking, volunteering, traveling, and spending time with friends. More blogs from Samantha Trombley.

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