Dear Devil’s Advocate, I had a great summer and I am really excited to get back to St. John’s. One of the reasons my summer was so great is that I started a relationship with a guy I’ve always kind of liked and things with him have been going really well. The only bad part is that he goes to school four hours away from me. Now, I know what you are thinking… It was just a summer romance and it’s never going to work. But, this is different. I really think we have a chance. I was just wondering if you had any advice for how we can make it work. Sincerely, Long-Distance Lucy
Dear Lucy, Contrary to popular belief, long-distance relationships can work. In fact, I read somewhere that over 87 percent of couples who are separated by a distance of over 100 miles are successful and happy. Of course, I also read somewhere that Oasis should be considered one of the greatest bands of our generation. Figure that one out.
Getting back to the subject at hand, there is one thing that makes almost all long-distance relationships fail. It is like a parasitic worm that burrows into its’ host and eats its way out from the inside. It comes like a ninja in the night and silently sabotages even the happiest of relationships. That thing, of course, is trust.
It is hard enough to trust a significant other when he’s just going out for a boys outing at night, but spending weeks and possibly months of nights of not being with that person can be extremely tough. If both of you feel that there is enough trust and if it’s worth the bit of doubt you will always have, then I say go for it. In today’s day and age, there is an abundance of technology that will allow you to feel that you’re together. Web cams are great investments, so you can have personal contact. There is also the more traditional ways such as daily phone calls and texts (get a lot of minutes and unlimited texts), instant messaging, and e-mails. Check with bus and train terminals to see if they offer student rates so you can go visit him and vice versa.
Remember that you both are in college and it is a time for growth. If your relationship is strong enough, then it will last and prosper. If for some reason it ends, then it was not meant to be. Sincerely, Devil’s Advocate ? ? ?
Dear Devil’s Advocate, Summer is over and a new semester is about to begin. I am glad to be back at school, but I can already tell I am going to have trouble getting back into the swing of things. I am not looking forward to all the work I am going to have to do this semester. I am really going to miss those summer mornings where I can sleep in late. I am finding myself not being able to get started on any of the things I need to get done by the time school starts. Any tips on shedding my habits of laziness and procrastination? Thanks, Procrastinating Peter
Dear Pete, I know the way you are feeling right now. The same thing used to happen to me. You want to get things done, but you just can’t. It’s so much easier to sit around and do nothing. But, when you sit around and do nothing, feelings of guilt and shame seep into your conscious. You are ashamed of yourself because you haven’t done the things you told yourself you would do and you feel guilty because you are getting away with it. It’s easy to let this spiral out of control and before you know it, you are living an empty, unfulfilling life.
It’s easy to be lazy, but it sure doesn’t feel good. It feels a lot better to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. Once you recognize these facts, it might be a little easier to get started.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: take a tip from Nike. Just do it. Stop thinking about the things you have to do by the time school starts and just DO them. Get them done and out of the way now. It takes a lot of will power, but you can do it. If you get in the habit of this, then you will become much more productive.
Realize that the things you have to do are not as hard as they seem to be. The only reason they are difficult is because you make them that way. Go into to each of your endeavors confidently, knowing you will be successful. Sometimes you won’t be successful right away, but you will be. If you have that mindset, then you will get all your things done in a timely fashion and more. ? Sincerely, Devil’s Advocate