I‘m the kind of person who did not think they would find anyone at university. Shy about the whole thing and prone to freaking out if anyone ever did ask me out for a drink, nobody was more surprised than me when I realised I loved one of my best friends at university and flatmate. He was my movie watching buddy, made me laugh hysterically, and stayed up with everyone google mapping Polish mountains at 2am. Neither of us had ever been in a relationship, and would have conversations about whether we would ever find someone. And then, in second year, everything changed.
It is funny how fast you go from quite happily pottering back and forth to university, to dreading breaks because that person, who was literally a few doors away from you, will now be miles away. Easter made both of us miss each other so much it physically hurt. Face-timing and messaging helped, but nothing compares to actually being with that person. So here is my game plan for summer, and I hope it can help anyone else going through the same thing.
Number one on the plan of attack, is keeping very, very busy. One of the worst things about being homesick for another person is having too much time to focus on it. There is so much to be grateful about when you are home- whether that be family, friends or time off from work to go travelling. I’m looking into turtle conservation. Don’t judge me.
plan meet ups with them
Number two, perhaps the most vital, is to plan meet ups with them. Go travelling, even if it is in the UK, go visit them at home. It helps to always have seeing them to look forward to, and it breaks the time up into much smaller chunks.
Number three, communication is everything. Tell them how much you miss them, or if you are feeling down, or if you are going to be AWOL with messaging for a few days while you go away with some friends. Send them messages without any provocation, just so they know how much you value them.
Number four, take care of your mental health. As someone who has only just gotten to grips with anxiety, be aware of that absolute monster that is overthinking. Try to be consciously aware of your thoughts. If you start to worry about tiny things and make connections through overthinking which simply aren’t there, talk to someone or start free-writing. Talking to someone who has experience with the same thing will immediately put everything into perspective, and writing takes all the worries out of your head and into the open. Once you have done that, 99.5% of the time you will realise there was nothing to worry about in the first place.
take care of your mental health
Number five, see the big picture. Often people panic about taking time away from their partner because they feel that they may lose them somehow, or drift apart, but actually the opposite is true. I found that missing my boyfriend so badly made me value him and the time I get with him so much more. It is also completely, endlessly true, that if you can survive time apart doing long-distance, you can survive whatever else life will throw at you.
Number six, breathe. Remember, you care about each other, and you got this. Lots of uni couples go through the same thing, and come out the other side. Just relax, and you will be back in September as if no time passed at all.