When we go away to college, we all anticipate that certain things will be challenging for us, such as having to study for exams, writing papers, figuring out how to make friends and to have a social life, choosing a major or finding a part-time job, etc. But as is true for many things we do for the very first time, there are also things we didn't anticipate. Dealing with the challenges and difficulties associated with long-distance relationships of various sorts [i.e., family or dating relationships] is often one of those unexpected challenges.
When we're away from home, even things we knew about can seem different from the vantage point of not living at home. So, for example, growing up with a sick or alcoholic parent can present a different challenge.
Sometimes situations arise that we would better know how to handle if we were still living at home. For example, if a family member gets sick, a sibling is having trouble, or there is a death in the family - each of these events, while difficult, is complicated by the fact that we're away and are not yet familiar with how to respond from a distance. These same challenges can arise when the problem emerges with a friend. Also, there many issues associated with how to make a long-distance dating relationship work.
As if these issues aren't challenging enough, students and their families also must negotiate new relationships, rules and understandings when they return home for vacations, breaks or holidays.
If you're having difficulty with any of these long-distance, relationship issues, staff of the Student Counseling Services are available to help as consultants. Talking with one of our counselors can help you to better understand your feelings and experiences, and assist you to develop alternatives that enable you to overcome those difficulties while remaining sufficiently engaged and focused, so your mental health, schoolwork, friendships, etc. don't suffer.