By Dawn Hu
Walking up to the podium to accept your diploma, you imagine your life next year -– freedom from your parents, beautiful college campuses, joining Greek life. But it’s not all out with the old and in with the new. Graduating from high school can be bittersweet too, especially when it comes to your high school relationship. On one hand, maybe he or she is your first love and you have shared an amazing few months or even years together. On the other hand, 3,000 miles of separation is no joke. Moving onto the next stage of your life, should you leave your high school sweetheart behind? What do you need to consider before getting into a long-distance relationship?
Can You Trust Each Other?
In any relationship, trust and communication are important. But when in a long-distance relationship, being able to trust your other half when they're out by their self or being able to honestly talk about problems that arise becomes exponentially more important.
Going to college is also a unique situation -– freshman year, you will have the chance to meet all sorts of new people and have many new and different experiences. But because you aren’t together all the time anymore, you have to be able to come to terms with the fact that you won’t know every move he makes or every girl he talks to.
Syracuse University student Heather and her boyfriend started dating December of their senior year in high school but ended up going to college in New York and California. Seeing each other every couple of months, they were able to make it work until this past spring.
“A LDR is also 98 percent about trust. If there's no trust, on either, or both ends, you're setting yourself up for many ugly phone conversations,” she said.
Especially if your siggo is still in high school while you venture off to start college life, it will be difficult to explain all of the new people you’ve met and the cool things you’ve been able to do without him or her feeling left behind or unable to relate. Vivian, a junior at Georgetown University, had dated her boyfriend for just two months before he graduated high school and shipped off for University of Michigan.
“The most difficult part was learning to understand that college life is very different from high school life and I had to accept that. When he went out, more trust in him and our relationship was required because it was a totally new lifestyle he was being exposed to that I knew little about,” she said.
Can You Make The Commitment?
Being in a high school relationship while in college means both people making a sincere commitment, but this commitment might not be the same for every couple. Before parting ways in the fall, you’ll need to make sure that you’re both on the same page about how open or serious your relationship will be next year.
“Each person has to be honest with themselves with what they want, and then communicate that to the other person. When people fail to do either, the relationship will not work,” Vivian said.
With this commitment comes the fact that there will be temptation that you will need to resist. Whether it’s that cute upperclassman in your English class, the girl you meet at a Halloween party, or even your best friend who has a crush on you, being in a relationship means saying “no” to all of this.
HC Contributing Writer Rachel, a student at James Madison University, and her boyfriend, who goes to University of South Carolina, are separated by six hours. When they were studying abroad in Europe, they were actually closer together than back home! While they had known each other for two years before they started dating, they officially made the leap on the last day of high school.
“Long-distance relationships are all about trust and willingness to commit. If you're unsure as to whether or not you can do it going into the relationship, long distance is not for you,” she said.