Photo Illustration | Stella Stokes

Missing Your Significant Other

HSU students balance school and long-distance relationships

HSU students balance love lives and school, stress communication

Long-distance relationships are a commitment students here at Humboldt State must face when leaving home, and in no way is it an easy thing to do. Having to believe in your individual future while putting time into a relationship can cause a divide in one’s heart.

School and work schedules are a few obstacles senior kinesiology major Emma Gutierrez must face within her relationship of almost six years with former HSU running back Ja’Quan Gardener.

Gardener, who in January left for an opportunity to be with the San Francisco 49ers, had to make a decision with Gutierrez to dictate their current relationship. They both knew that their conflicting schedules would be an issue, and a long-distance relationship can make it a challenge when communicating.

“Communication is something that has to be there for us, being able to hear from that person day to day allows us to know that we’re always on each other’s mind,” Gutierrez said. “With that communication, it makes it so much easier to trust that person.”

The hardest thing for two people who love each other is not being able to talk to that person. Senior cellular and molecular biology major Samantha Lee explained that you can not get mad over something that you can not control.

“Texting long paragraphs and getting mad over something which in the end we cannot control is pointless,” Lee said. “You’re wanting to hear from that person all day and then end up fighting over whatever it might be. It only causes tension. It takes two to tango at the end of the day.”

Lee is currently in a long-distance relationship with her partner Terrence Tam. She explained that finding the time to physically see each other is a challenge. The two of them trade off on a five-hour drive once a month to get that face-to-face connection.

Former HSU student Jeanette Bargas had her own take on long-distance relationships.

“Be prepared for anything, learn how to communicate,” Bargas said. “Knowing each other’s schedule can help on when it’s the best time to see each other.”

Bargas was in a long-distance relationship with someone who lived Puerto Rico and they are unfortunately no longer together. She explained that before the distance it was just Eureka to Orange County and then the distance got further once her significant other left for Puerto Rico.

“I remember just trying to keep my mind occupied and focused off the distance. Working full time at Disneyland helped me at times,” Bargas said. “Other times I would focus on my photography and becoming a better artist but like what happens to so many, the distance was causing to be too much.”

For the students that are in long-distance relationships being occupied by either school or work, interacting with friends, and finding new interests are ways to cope with the thought of missing their significant other. Gutierrez and Gardner both have busy schedules. Gardener continues to focus on his career, and Gutierrez continues her path to graduation while taking care of their German Shepard, Lia.

Lee and Tam keep their focus on their education and don’t let the distance factor become too much of a distraction.

A long-distance relationship is a test of two people’s ability to trust and communicate. Without those two qualities, even in a non-distance relationship, there is no way for that relationship to blossom and grow.

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