DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Jackson," and I have been in a long-distance relationship for two years. We recently learned that we both have been accepted to our "dream" college, which means we'll live close to each other for the first time. I'm excited, but nervous about what the adjustment will be like.
Jackson is my first boyfriend, so I don't know what it's like to be with someone who can physically be around all the time. Normally, we communicate by phone or video chat and lead our separate lives. But when we visit each other, our days just revolve around the two of us. I miss Jackson when we're apart, but I enjoy having the freedom to study, hang out with friends and have "me time" while still being in a happy relationship.
From what I have heard, college life is fun, but busy. I love Jackson and want to be with him, but I also want to make new friends and focus on schoolwork. (He wants that, too.) I'm afraid that once we get to college we'll either be so wrapped up in each other that we miss out on other stuff, or get so busy with school and friends that we never see each other. Jackson shares my concerns, but neither of us knows how to make sure we strike a good balance. Can you help us? -- ANXIOUS IN FLORIDA
DEAR ANXIOUS: You and your boyfriend need to be sure your priorities are in order when you get to school. First and foremost you're both there to get an education. And aside from academics, a part of that education is developing relationships and availing yourself of experiences beyond the field you will be studying. While spending time together is important, so is balance, so keep in mind that too much togetherness can distract from your studies or even become so claustrophobic that it kills the relationship.