Wednesday, February 12th, 2020...5:42 pm

Maintaining Relationships in Grad School

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Hello Grad Students! Welcome back to the Gradlife Blog.

Graduate school, as I am sure you are aware, takes up a lot of time. When we have so many demands coming at us it can be hard to maintain things outside of school. As I speak to students in my program and also at grad events, I have come to hear about a lot of people who are far from families, find it hard to make the time to see friends, or are doing long distance with their significant other while they are in school.

I myself am in a long distance relationship with my partner and we have been for almost 2 years.  I know many of my classmates are as well.  We are 4 provinces away from each other and deal with a 3 hour time change, which can add to the difficulty of communicating. Everyone’s experience is different, but whether it is a partner, family or friends, it can be hard to feel out of synch with those you love.

With that said, here are my top 3 tips for managing any long distance relationship in grad school.

  1. Figure out what will help you feel connected through the distance and share this with your partner/family/friends

When my partner and I started long distance, I said that texting throughout the day would make me feel more connected to him. His was that he wanted to Skype a couple times a week. Knowing what would help each other to feel connected really helped us as we started out.

2. Keep a list!

Sometimes I get so busy that by the time I talk to friends or my partner on the phone, I forget about little things I would have wanted to tell them throughout the day. It might have reminded me of them or I just want to keep them in the loop. I make a list on my phone so I can refer to it when we do connect.

3. Don’t forget to enjoy your experience

While it can be hard to be away from people we love, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your time here! Keeping our focus too much on those far away relationships can sometimes make it hard for us to be present to the opportunities for new connections that are in front of us.

The word that sums up this topic for me is balance. It is not something that comes really easily, but it does get easier with time and communication. It can also be why connecting with others and building a support network here can be so impactful to a fulfilling experience in grad school.

For information on grad events that help you to build connections and have fun, check out the gradlife events calendar.

Talk soon,


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