So you and your SO aren't going to the same school this fall - what now? Whether you're in different, counties, states, or even countries, this small difference can have a huge effect on your relationship. You will have different friends, classes, and experiences, and at times you may feel completely disconnected from your partner - but that feeling doesn't have to be permanent. It's never easy, but if you are both willing to commit, you and your partner can make it work even if you aren't going to the same school this fall.
Plan The Work…
One of the best things you can do in a long distance relationship is plan out how you're going to make it work - how often are you going to visit each other? What will be your primary form of communication? Sit down together and determine what your typical schedule will be like when you start school, and find times that you can keep open to visit and call each other. If you make plans and commit to them, you will feel much more confident in your relationship when you leave for school in the fall.
And Work The Plan
Once you have a plan in place, commit to it - and your partner! - and work the plan. Send care packages, call, visit, and do whatever you need to to make time for your relationship. This isn't going to be easy, and you may find yourself having to make some sacrifices for the sake of your relationship, but don't give up when things get tough. Every couple faces obstacles, but if you can learn to have faith in yourself and your partner, your relationship will be that much stronger in the long run.
Work Out Major Problems BEFORE You Leave
If you have a major concern about the separation, it's important to talk to your partner about it before you become long distance. Being apart can exacerbate other problems in a relationship, even if it's something small, like not appreciating how your partner can be interruptive when you're talking. Although this might not normally bother you that much, if they are constantly doing it during the rare phone conversations you get to have with them, it can start to become pretty frustrating. Discussing the issue with your partner early on in a calm, neutral environment can help create a stronger foundation for your long distance relationship.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Remember, different couples have different styles of communication, and although daily, two-hour phone calls may work great for one couple, you and your partner may not have the time for that. Focus on what works for you - whether that means visiting each other every weekend, talking on the phone a few times a week, or just snapchatting each other between classes, find a communication style that works for your relationship and stick with it. Lack of contact can make you feel detached from your partner, so scheduling "date nights" when you two can spend time together - even if it isn't in person - can seriously improve your relationship.
Trust Each Other
Ultimately, the best thing you can do in any relationship, especially a long distance one, is trust your partner and yourself. If you both are doing the best you can to make the relationship work, then there is no reason to stress. No relationship is perfect, and you are always going to encounter difficulties - but that doesn't mean that you should give up on each other.
As you and your SO begin your college journey, you will both grow, but that doesn't mean you will grow apart. More often than not, LDRs don't fail because of the distance, but rather because the people in them stopped taking the time to commit to each other. If you focus on making an effort to commit to the relationship each and every day, you will renew your strength in yourself and each other, and develop a relationship that can withstand any distance.