Yes, I will keep up my long-distance relationship in Cambridge
Lose your cynicism, people. Long-distance relationships can work.
Long-distance love ain’t actually that bad.
“Don’t do it!” they said.
“It will never last!” they said.
“How will you cram in supervision work and multiple extra-curriculars and get a first and still manage to maintain a relationship with a person who is far away and doing different stuff to you?”
Obviously, I was going to prove them wrong. And we have. So far at least.
Now don’t get me wrong, the first term was, frankly, hell. Moving to an entirely new city – let alone fucking Cambridge and all the intellectual expectations you’re suppose to try and fail to live up to – and adopting a completely new way of life is enough of an adjustment in itself. Add the stress to that of having to deal with not seeing someone who you pretty much spent all of your spare time with and who knows every single weird thing about you.
So yes it was hard and at times we came very close to giving up. The insecurity on both sides about what the other person is doing and who they’re hanging out with shouldn’t be underestimated. If you think the long holidays will solve all of your problems then I’m afraid that you’re very, very wrong.
Being back together and able to spend all of your time with your other half after nine weeks apart brings a whole new set of problems – you’re used to being completely independent, and no matter how relaxed and laid back your relationship might be, coming home involves yet another adjustment.
Of course it’s going to be rocky. But that doesn’t mean you should just call it a day. You should expect that there are going to be bad days.
Attempting to keep a long-distance relationship intact has actually taught me some life lessons that I feel have made me stronger, wiser and more independent.
Rather than having a negative affect on my enjoyment of the experience, I’ve found that, in many ways, it’s made it a whole lot better.
As we all know, sometimes you need a break from the mindless Cambridge routine of sleep, supervisions, lectures, supervisions, sleep, lectures, Cindies, breakdowns, sleep, no-sleep, supervisions, supervisions and supervisions (sometimes but not necessarily in that order).
Having someone outside of the bubble who can come up and visit can actually be a lifesaver. It provides a breath of fresh air and really helps to remind you that there is a world outside our quaint colleges and tripos tribulations. This is important – it helps you stay sane.
If you happen to be, as I was, someone who has a tendency to be slightly clingy in a relationship, uni is a good remedy.
Ashamed as I am to admit it, prior to coming to Cambridge I struggled with even going on a night out without the security of my boyfriend’s presence. This is the case no longer – I have interests of my own, I can go days without proper contact and feel perfectly fine, and I value myself as an independent, strong person who is kinda sorta being forced into an adult. Only just.
You really do start to appreciate your other half more when you are forced to miss them. It helps you to avoid the complacency that begins to creep in after a year spent listening to their mum issues and their belief that they will, one day, be a famous rockstar.
The time you do get to spend together is precious – why spend the day watching Netflix when you could be out, seeing the world together! Life is short, and being apart from the person you love makes you want to grab hold of it and share every experience possible with them. YOLO.
But perhaps most importantly, it’s a test. If you can get through the insecurity, the huge adjustment you have to make and, at least for the first few weeks, the constant arguing, then you know you have something worth fighting for, because you did fight, and you came out the other side.
Maintaining a relationship when you go to uni is possible, you just have to know that even when it’s shit, you still want to make it work.
If you’re making it work when it’s shitty, you can make it work anytime.
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