There’s nothing quite like returning to school for the spring semester, and here’s the reason why: Those five or so weeks known as “winter break” get really boring, really fast. Sure, the first week is a paradise after finals, but after that, things begin to blur together and the mood shifts to anticipation. Then before you know it, you’re waiting until the next holiday reunion party rolls around and you get to tell every single member of your extended family what you’re majoring in…for the fifth time. Needless to say it feels as though the second half of winter break is a waiting game until I can finally move back to West Chester. And now that the game is over, the fun can commence.
A lot has happened in the few weeks that I’ve been back. My roommates and I have moved into our new apartment in the heart of downtown, we’ve hosted a few housewarming parties, and I had to say goodbye to my best friend Katie as she departed for France. The list has mostly exciting things on it, but bittersweetness always seems to creep its way in. I mentioned that my friend Katie was going to France for a semester abroad in a previous edition of “So It Goes”, and now that her departure has come and gone, I feel at odds.
My indecisiveness aside, the whole situation got me thinking about distance in relationships, both in the literal/physical sense, and emotionally as well. After thinking about it for some time, I came to collect the opinion that distance (in certain instances) can be the best thing for a relationship to grow.
I know that at first read, that statement might sound obtuse, or even kind of crazy. But when you think of “distance” in two separate ways, then the stance makes more sense. What prompted this topic to formulate in my mind was of course being away from my friend, but also being away from my home. This year is different from any other because now that I am living in my own apartment and no longer have the need to go back home, the distance between myself and my old life is more apparent. The physical distance is still there, but underneath that is this sense of emotional distance that is beginning to grow. It’s bringing home the fact that I am turning into a fully-fledged adult, one that has bills to pay, and meals to make, and laundry to do (among other tasks of course).
That emotional distance that I now get to experience along with the physical distance of being away from Katie is a lot to handle. I miss my friend every day, but with the help of Skype and Facebook bridging the gap, 3,800 or so miles doesn’t seem that big. And hey, it’s only one semester. I know that the distance will ultimately strengthen our friendship. Plus, it will give me a great excuse to throw a huge, tacky welcome back party five months from now.
So after thinking and writing about it for a while now, I still believe that distance can be beneficial for a relationship. Granted, it will never be easy to realize you’re not a kid anymore or say goodbye to a dear friend for an extended period of time, but I think it will ultimately make you stronger and more sure of yourself as an individual. Till next time West Chester, so it goes.
Rachel Alfiero is a second-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at RA806657@wcupa.edu.