Posts Tagged ‘long-distance relationships’

Make New Friends But Keep The Old

Monday, June 3rd, 2024

As we grow older and move through different phases of life, maintaining long-standing friendships while nurturing new ones can be a delicate dance. Human beings are inherently social creatures and friendship is a natural response to everyday experiences. In order to survive, we form alliances. These bonds enrich our lives, providing support, joy, and a sense of belonging. Our social circles expand and contract as we navigate new schools, careers, moves, and other life changes. Finding friendship in every aspect of life enriches your experiences. 

As a rising junior in college I know the importance of having different social circles. I’ve come to see the value in each and every one of my friends and make it a priority to honor these relationships. Growing up, I went to public school in Virginia, in 8th grade I switched to a private school in the neighboring state of Maryland. When I first made the switch I was anxious to make new friends but also missed the companionship and familiarity of the people I grew up with. It was difficult to make myself available to both of my friend groups. I often had to choose between doing an activity with my neighborhood friends and accepting invitations to hangout with my new friends. As a result of wanting to fit in my new environment I felt myself prioritizing my new friendships over the old. Over time, I drifted further apart from the friends I had grown up with. I don’t blame myself for this because I think this was inevitable for my situation, I was thirteen and trying to throw myself into a social scene of people from a different state, people who had also grown up together. I believe focusing more time on building these relationships was necessary. Obviously, I would be growing closer to the people I was seeing everyday as opposed to friends I only had the chance to see on certain weekends.

However, I also made sure to invite my friends from my neighborhood to any party I hosted or dinner event I planned. In return, my friends from Virginia continued to invite me to their plans. Although our lives grew more separate, we were always able to pick up where we left off. I tried to align my social circles when I could by introducing both of my friend groups and giving them opportunities to bond. Even as a high school senior, I invited the friends I had gone to middle school with to my graduation party. While I had not seen them in months at the time of the party, they still attended because we mutually appreciated each other’s efforts to continue the relationship. 

Now, in college, we keep up with each other’s lives through social media and attend the same nightlife events when we’re home for breaks. I have even been able to connect my friends from middle school with my friends from high school who were attending the same colleges. My neighbor and best friend growing up is now roommates with one of my best friends from highscool because I connected them. There is no limit to the number of friends you can have, and bringing people together can build community. 

Through this experience, I’ve learned that relationship bonds can ebb and flow. Just because I don’t consider my middle school friends my best friends anymore but I will always be grateful for the time when we were closer. A distance is not an end. Changing relationship dynamics isn’t necessarily a bad thing; sometimes, it is just situational. It’s important that you remain conscious and attentive to how your various relationships are everchanging. Be attentive to change and make adjustments accordingly. Live by the saying, “A circle is round. It has no end. That’s how long I want to be your friend.”

My friends from middle and I in 7th grade, May 2017
My friends from middle school and I at my graduation party, May 2022
My favorite place for frozen yogurt in the city! So many great dietary options, flavors, and locations. This is a must- visit when you’re craving a sweet treat!

Hogan Bingel is a rising junior at NYU who plans to graduate in May 2026 with degrees in Journalism and Politics and a minor in The Business of Entertainment, Media, Technology, and Fashion. She grew up in Arlington, VA, outside of Washington, DC. She is home for the Summer and will be studying abroad in Florence during Fall 2024. For the time being, you can find her writing poetry, listening to vinyls, and planning her next travels.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  
At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Long-Distance Friendships

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
Photo by Toni Cuenca on Unsplash

The hardest thing about starting college, I think, is leaving your friends from home and starting from scratch. I love meeting new people, so when I started college, I met a lot of people and made a lot of friends quickly. Even though I loved my new friends, I couldn’t help but grieve my high school friendships. I missed the consistency of seeing them every day in class or at lunch, and I didn’t know how to translate that connection into something that worked long distance. I was afraid of growing apart from them.

It is natural to feel this way. After all, you have relied on this structure for years, so naturally your friendship will have to adjust to this change. Friendships go through changes all of the time. One of my best friends ever is a girl that I met in seventh grade drama class. We were instantly best friends, attached at the hip, matching “best friends forever” Claire’s necklaces and all. It didn’t take long for our friendship to blow up—over what exactly? Who knows—and we became enemies as quickly as we became pals. After taking a few months apart, resilient as ever, we were friends again by eighth grade. It is something we laugh about often, how our friendship has survived so much turbulence, but we are stronger because of it. 

The summer before our senior year of college I went over to her house to go swimming. The weather that summer had been extremely temperamental, either having periods of heavy rain or periods of extreme heat, so any fair weather day like this one was a treat. We sat in tube floaties, face to face, holding our floats together by the handle so we wouldn’t drift apart. We talked about people from high school, roommate drama, hook-ups. Our friendship survives mostly on these silly types of conversations, nothing too serious. Then we started talking about how we had changed so much since middle school, how our friendship has survived so many versions of ourselves, how grateful we were to know each other. We talked about post-grad, how daunting it is to be faced with what’s next, how to find your purpose, your passion. We didn’t often have conversations like that. We learned a lot about each other just floating around together in her backyard that day.

By the end of the conversation we had come to the realization that our years away had actually made our time together more valuable, how we were growing together and our friendship was actually evolving in tandem. Somehow, after ten years of friendship, we were closer than ever, and we parted feeling like we knew each other better. The way we had changed as people actually made us more suited to be better friends to one another, deeping our friendship from middle school best friends to adult best friends. It felt like our friendship had gotten stronger because of the way we had grown as people.

So I guess there are a few things to take away here:

It is totally valid to be sad to leave your friends, but the truth is that distance doesn’t actually kill friendships. The love hasn’t gone anywhere, it is actually just spreading— across cities, state lines, wherever you end up! Call them, go visit, be happy that they’re thriving somewhere new. And honestly, hanging out with your friends’ new friends can be awesome, so don’t be afraid to share the love.

Keep in touch as much as you can, but try to be flexible. Sometimes I like to schedule a call with a friend I haven’t talked to in a while, other times I just try my luck on my walk home from class, or while I’m making dinner. Not everything has to be so formal, even a fifteen minute chat can do wonders. Either way, just pick up the phone and make something happen! 

You don’t have to be afraid of change. Changing is awesome, it just means that you are getting to know yourself better. If you feel you and your old friends are growing apart, that isn’t always a bad thing. The love will always be there, but it is ok to let go of something that is not true to you anymore. Hang onto each other’s floaties, but understand that drifting is natural. It is ok to miss people that you have grown away from, but trust that the current will take you where you need to go. 

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By Erin O’Brien

Erin O’Brien is a student based in Boston, MA studying Communications and Studio Art. She is drawn to telling stories about love and friendship, and is a firm believer that being sappy and loving big is never a waste of time. She loves watching movies and snuggling up with her dog, Jeffrey.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Long-Distance Relationships and Weird Technologies that Help Close the Gap

Saturday, June 9th, 2012


Image Credit:

Ahh, summertime. The smell of suntan lotion is in the air, breezes tickle bare skin and make girls paranoid about their skirts, and grains of sand can be found in every corner of your room after your first trip to the beach. But for many college students, summer also means leaving the college environment to return home or go abroad, and forces them to separate from friends and significant others, resulting in even more long-distance relationships, or LDRs, than ever before.

According to statistics from the now-closed Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships (yes, it actually existed), over four million college couples in the United States alone were in long-distance relationships in 2005. A more recent study conducted by the Communications Research journal found that as much as 75% of college students have or will, at some point, find themselves in a long-distance relationship. Even those in post-graduate life are increasingly finding themselves in LDRs, in part due to better technology but also majorly because of ever-increasing demands of economic situations.

With all the controversy over long-distance relationships, are they worth it? And what can be done to help maintain one?

There are many physical factors that play into a long-distance relationship, including the distance between the two involved, the modes of contact available, and the frequency and duration with which the couple can come into physical contact. Interestingly, however, studies suggest that distance is ultimately not the deciding factor for whether or not a long-distance couple will stay together.

See? It doesn’t have to be so bad!

A study conducted by the Center’s founder Greg Guldner titled “Time Spent Together and Relationship Quality: Long Distance Relationships as a Test Case” challenged the idea that relationship qualities are significantly affected by the amount of time a couple spends together. The study states, “Clearly, relationships require some level of contact and extremely infrequent contact probably does ultimately result in relationship instability. However, that level of infrequent contact does not occur in the vast majority of relationships.” In an interview with USA Today, Guldner says that his studies have found that a couple’s communication frequency “has almost no impact on whether they stayed together or the quality of the relationship.”

Rather, what makes long-distance relationships so different from others is the way that, particularly the rate at which, they develop. Guldner says, “Such relationships progress slowly because relationships develop through conflict and the breaking down of illusions—and long-distance couples don’t want to spoil their time together by fighting.” So while a close-proximity couple might break up within two months of starting a relationship, a LDR couple might do so in three or four.

I, for one, support this theory. My first relationship was one separated by about 200 miles and a $40 one-way bus ticket (which would have been more expensive had I not had used student discounts). But I don’t think it was the distance that broke us up; rather, I think that it kept us together for as long as we were. We hadn’t known each other much before we started dating, but we still decided to jump into a labeled “boyfriend-girlfriend” relationship from the start because we liked each other enough and felt that we wanted to be exclusive and needed to feel some sort of commitment before pledging to make a habit of crossing state borders. When our relationship started to get shaky, our phone calls never really addressed changing feelings even though it was clear that they were there. We didn’t want to argue, and the distance made our problems easier to ignore.

The good news is that, when commitment level and level of trust are high, long-distance relationships tend to have a success rate identical to relationships where the partners are in proximity to one another, implying that a couple’s needs are less physical than commonly believed and, instead, more emotional and psychological. This summer, my current boyfriend and I are long-distance, but commitment, trust, and communication are making it easier for us to deal with the distance.

In order to keep up the emotional and psychological stability of a relationship, communication is necessary. As products of Generation Y, we tend to not have much trouble in the field of long-distance interaction. Ever since we exchanged AIM screen names in grammar or middle school, we have been using such communication tools as email and instant messaging. SMS- and text-messaging are practically our second language.

Some couples have taken this interaction a step further, creating avatars that interact through virtual reality sites like SecondLife and VirtualDateSpace. A problem with such sites, however, is that it may cause an idealized version of reality. Though it helps couples to communicate and interact, it is, long story short, exactly what it claims to be—virtual reality: an alternate reality, not real life. For example, if you are communicating with your significant other’s attractive avatar when you are not attracted to the actual person, well, things could get a little complicated.

But it is not verbal communication that is so much of a problem today. Despite the science suggesting the insignificance of the role that physical contact plays in creating strong relationships, one of the biggest complaints among long-distance couples is a lack of physical contact, both sexual and not. The human need for touch extends beyond a release of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone released through affectionate touch. Sometimes people pine for touch simply because it is comforting to know that the other person is “there,” even if they cannot be “here.”

Technology seeks to rid LDRs of this barrier through such inventions as the “hug shirt” which recreates the strength, warmth, and heartbeat of someone’s embrace through sensors embedded in the shirt, allowing you to hug and be hugged in return. An iPhone app launched in March called “Pair” sets up a direct connection between couples through which they can quickly send texts, photos, and more. Its feature “thumb kiss” vibrates when the people on either end of the phone touch the screen in the same place at the same time, letting each other know that they are both “here” and “there” and thinking of each other.

A big pillow hugger myself, my favorite invention that I found is the product “Pillow Talk,” which allows couples to feel like they are sleeping with each other by simulating their partner’s heartbeat through a pillow. One person (or both) cuddles the pillow as the other wears a ring that detects the wearer’s heartbeat. The pillows miles away beat in real time with the heart of each pillow hugger’s lover, simulating a G-rated night together.

As much of a romanticized view as this might seem, when two people are right for each other, there is no distance that commitment cannot overcome. The biggest question that one should ask when considering a long-distance relationship is not if the distance is right, but rather if the person is right. Once this question receives a “yes,” staying in touch, both literally and figuratively, will not be as hard as it seems.

UPDATE: I’ve tried the Pair iPhone app, and it’s pretty cool. You can password protect it if you want, to ensure privacy. You can send pictures, videos, or drawings, and can directly link to FaceTime through it (though the FaceTime accounts are linked through email addresses, not the phone, which is strange). You can send a cute little thought bubble that simply says “Thinking of you,” or you can live draw with each other, or drop a pin to let your Pair-mate know where you are.

In the settings, you can list your anniversary and both of your birthdays to remember. You can set up a to-do list in the “Shared Task” section, document “Moments” with pictures, and suggest the application to another couple.

Bad news, though, for polygamous relationships: you can only pair with one person.


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