Surviving a long-distance relationship in college

Paternostro told his girlfriend, Monica, they were going to go camping and kayaking before college started, but they unfortunately ran out of time. Here they are pictured at Dick’s Sporting Goods to make up for the time. 

Typical date nights usually consist of getting ready to go out for dinner. For some, the best date nights consist of ordering take-out and watching a movie over FaceTime. 

Students who start dating in high school may have to make the decision whether or not to continue the relationship long distance following graduation.

This was a decision sophomore history major Angelo Paternostro was willing to make. 

He and his girlfriend, Monica, have been dating for almost two years. They started their relationship in high school back home in Lodi, California, and the time difference can be a factor in making the relationship work.

“Her being on the West Coast is especially difficult because when I’m free, she’s usually not because she’s ahead three hours,” Paternostro said. “It’s difficult finding common time to FaceTime.” 

Paternostro spends about equal time in Kent and in California between holiday and summer breaks. However, when he first moved to Kent for college, it was hard to deal with being away from Monica.

“When we lived together, we saw each other every single day,” Paternostro said. “So when you move, it’s a shock to not be with them.” 

This was a similar situation for freshman pre medicine major Brook Lyn Mercado. She and her boyfriend, Nicholas, decided to continue their relationship long distance after attending North Carolina School of Science and Math together. He currently attends UNC Chapel Hill. 

“You know they say when you go to college you grow as a person,” Mercado said. “…it was the same thing at that school,” Mercado said. “He saw me go from one person to a whole other type of person and I saw him do the same.”

Their relationship has been on-and-off long distance from the start since she is from Pittsburgh and met him at the boarding school. Mercado works almost full-time and is a full time student, but she and Nicholas still make time to call every day, even if it’s just for a short time as she’s going to work or to say goodnight. 

The two see each other once every other month, but they also make time to have FaceTime dates. 

On Valentine’s Day, he ordered her pizza and cookies after a long day at work and the two watched movies together over FaceTime.

The effort that these relationships take is worth it if you truly care about the person, according to both Paternostro and Mercado. 

To anyone looking to make long-distance work, Paternostro recommends spending time making things special: watching movies together, allowing time to be “together” and buying your significant other gifts. Trust is important to any relationship, especially long distance, according to Mercado. 

“There are pros and cons, but if you are passionate enough about the person and you love them … distance doesn’t really matter,” Paternostro said. “Even though it’s difficult and it comes with a lot of cons, it’s worth it in my opinion.”

Kelsey Paulus is a relationships reporter. Contact her at [email protected]