Believe it or not, long distance relationships are very common in optometry school (and graduate school in general.) Although they are common, that doesn’t mean they are easy. As students enter a new chapter in their lives, they often find themselves saying goodbye to an old one, at least for a little while.
One thing that makes long distance relationships difficult while in health professional school is the fact that you will no longer be as available as you once were. Most graduate programs are more demanding than undergrad, and therefore tend to suck up a lot more of your time. Students find that they are spending far more time studying than they did when they were in college.
When both you and your significant other are in a program, even in different states, it tends to be a little easier. The reason being: they get it. Most likely, they will have as little time as you do so they won’t hold it against you when you say you have to go study or that you can’t visit the following week because of exams. On the other hand, something that puts a lot of strain on a relationship is when one person is extremely busy, such as with graduate school, and the other is more available.
Although there are many things that can strain a long distance relationship in optometry school, it is definitely doable. At ICO, we generally have small breaks here and there where you have time to visit. Some people even get a part time work study job to pay for plane tickets. Luckily, the airport isn’t too far from school- nice if your long distance relationship really spans a long distance.
Like most things in life, it’s all about balance. Just be aware that things will be different and you may not have as much time as you once did. A classmate told me that a key for her is to make sure she always plans the next time she will see her boyfriend. Otherwise, “It feels like you won’t see them in forever.” Many people also agreed that making time to talk for a little each night is helpful to stay connected.
Four years seems like forever, but before you know it, it will be graduation day. And if not, well, there are over 2.7 million people in Chicago. 😉