For most college students, summer
vacation isn’t just about relaxing and catching up on all the sleep lost over
From landing internships, to living
with parents again, summer can present college students with a whole new set of
challenges to face.
And, for those students studying
overseas, managing a long distance relationship can be one of the toughest
Many young people find their first
love in college. But summer lovin’ can be difficult if there are hundreds of
miles between you and your loved one.
So, how do you hold on to your love
until the fall semester starts?
The most important thing in any
long distance relationship is consistent communication.
Although your first instinct may be
to turn to a social networking site to stay in touch, sites like Facebook and
MySpace may not be the best ways to keep in contact with your significant
Even though these sites make it
very easy to send messages back and forth, posting on your boyfriend or
girlfriend’s wall will not give you the intimate level of communication that
you are used to.
“Unless there was a point I
couldn’t reach Jonathan over the phone, I would never reach him over Facebook,”
said Janelle Muttoo, who recently graduated from the University of Western Ontario,
regarding keeping in touch with her boyfriend in Grand Cayman. “It just feels
Even phone calls have their
disadvantages: calls overseas can be extremely expensive, and you cannot see
your significant other.
Rather than a social networking
site or over the phone, the best way to communicate with your boyfriend or
girlfriend is often through a video conference on Skype, MSN, or iChat.
Computer programmes like these give you the opportunity to see and really talk
to your significant other.
“It keeps things real,” said Ms
Although you may not be able to
reach out and touch them, these programmes still allow you to communicate with
your loved one face-to-face.
“MSN, Skype, and AIM are great ways
to stay connected,” said Amanda Law, who attends the University of Toronto.
She explains, however, that
demanding to have the camera on “24/7” can give the wrong impression.
“Then it just feels like it’s a
security camera,” she said. “It just shows that you don’t trust him or her.”
Instead, discuss which days and
times work best to talk over the phone or communicate via the web. This will
help to establish regular communication between you and your partner.
Trust is the most important
ingredient in any relationship, and this is especially true with long distance
“If you are not trusting of the
other person, then a long distance relationship will break down faster than any
other,” said Ms Muttoo.
She explained that different people
feel the need for different levels of communication.
“It’s easy for people to interpret
that as neglect rather than that person feeling comfortable enough in the
relationship that they don’t have to be calling every minute,” she said.
More often than not, these
ungrounded suspicions can be what lead to the undoing of a relationship, not
Since you are not with your
significant other physically, you have to be able to trust what your girlfriend
or boyfriend tells you.
“[Long distance relationships]
teach you about a person a lot faster because you have to build trust a lot
faster and be a lot more trusting,” said Ms Muttoo.
If It Ends
The unfortunate reality is that not
all relationships will last the summer.
Not all relationships that
encounter a rough period, however, are necessarily over.
“It really depends on what you feel
is the reason for [the break-up],” said Ms Muttoo, “If it’s a breakdown of
communication, then it’s definitely something you can work on.”
But, if your relationship is
unsalvageable, then you need to make sure you can get back on your feet and
enjoy the rest of your summer.
One way to do this is to be sure
that you always make time for your friends when you are in a relationship.
“Being in a relationship is great,
but cutting off friends for your man or woman affects not just yourself but the
people around you,” said Ms Law. “If you guys don’t work out, it’ll be like you
have nothing or no one there. You have to remember who you are.”