Romance according to Kate

Ostler, Kate

Dear Kate,
I’m worried about starting a long-distance relationship. What should I expect?
-Far Away and Freaking OutDear Far,
Long-distance relationships, especially in college, are tough to work out. Couples seem to either prosper and make it work, or completely burn out and break up. Many relationships can survive well (or at least adequately) on weekend visits and late night phone conversations. To start with, there isn’t any lack of conversation; you can each share your own stories about what’s happening in your separate lives – compare climate differences, laugh about different time zones, sports rivalries, etc. – “Is it 10 o’clock there already? Wow.” Although it may be difficult at first, the distance can allow you both some much-needed time to “find yourselves.” Without a pesky boy/girlfriend around, you’ll be more likely to join clubs, make new friends, and explore your otherwise uncharted interests. However, this may also make it more difficult for you to find time for, or easily relate to your boy/girlfriend. You’ll find that you appreciate the time you do get to spend together much more. Eventually, you’ll be able to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and decide whether the relationship will be worth the sacrifice in the end.

Dear Kate,
Why is winter term so unsexy?
-Stuck in Snowboots

Dear Stuck,
Winter term is distinctly unsexy, isn’t it? Few of us actually realize how drab and monotonous life becomes over these 10 long weeks. Each of us is just trying to get on with our daily lives; we wake up shivering, throw on a sweater and thick socks, and hurry through the cold to class. Perhaps it is the liberal arts tradition that is constantly seeping into our personalities – as we experience and learn about a broad range of subjects, so do our moods and emotions vary. Fall term is a time of excitement and anticipation; we meet up with our friends after a long summer break, looking tanned and well rested. The leaves are changing, and it seems almost a relief to be back. After a short holiday break, we’re back once again, each of us thinking, “Maybe this winter term won’t be so bad.” But alas, it is. Winter brings short days and long research papers, and our formerly cheerful group of friends is now stressed out and grumpy. No one is concerned about physical appearance, our worn-out bodies are hidden beneath scarves and winter coats, and each unseasonably warm day only brings us a fleeting glimpse of what we’ve been (and will be) missing for so long. It seems that there is no end in sight, but sit tight – spring term can’t stay away forever, and with it shall come raw sex appeal, optimism, and inspiration for a more attractive campus.

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