When I first came to college, I maintained a quasi-relationship with my high school boyfriend. We were allowed to date others, but we weren’t supposed to actively pursue them. This agreement ended over Thanksgiving break when I, like too many of my freshman colleagues, ended my long-distance hassle. After that, I vowed to date only those in my area, which I have mostly maintained. Recently, I noticed sophomores, juniors and seniors engaging in long-distance love. This raises the issue many freshmen and others are dealing with. Most relationships that attempt long-distance all follow the same story. Boy meets girl in high school or over the summer, they begin dating and they stay attached, even though they are in different parts of the country. Unfortunately, these stories develop the same way unless you take the route of my friend’s freshman roommate and dump your long-distance hassle during orientation upon seeing the local alternatives. The girlfriend gets to be annoying and nagging, because eventually you want to go out rather than have your normal three-hour phone conversation. Deciding to break up with your boyfriend while in the midst of a drunken hook-up isn’t the best idea, but once the haze of last night’s binge leaves or you accept the fact that drunkenly hooking up with another girl in a bathroom stall doesn’t make you a lesbian, one’s conscience generally kicks in. This is the first break-up in the long distance relationship – where the guy dumps the girl in order to get off the phone or the girl tells her boyfriend about the drunken encounter and the relationship ends. For a lot of people the decision is easy – a bird in hand is worth two in the bush, but they’d rather be looking for more bush.Fast-forward to Thanksgiving break – the next time you see your recent ex. Inevitably, either you or your ex will cave, call the cell and arrange a meeting. This meeting can go a variety of different ways, but there is one guarantee – you will end up in bed or at least in the backseat of a 1986 Pontiac. This hook-up invariably increases emotional confusion levels and leads to more late- night phone calls of the phone sex variety when returning to school. Eventually, the phone sex ends, and you remember why the relationship ended in the first place and vow not to engage in ex-sex again. Moving on to winter break. No matter what sunny or snowy location you visit, it is impossible to escape the siren call of ex-sex. Though bad, it’s also always quite good. This leads to confusing and tear-riddled conversations about where the relationship is heading – nowhere but to bed again – and what should be done upon returning to school? Usually it is nothing, but sometimes people pretend there is a possibility or at least imagine the possibility for five to seven minutes a night. Come second semester, you’re finally used to college, have many friends and know where the parties are every weekend. This is where the long-distance relationship finally dies, and you realize that lab partner you had last semester in chemistry might be worth checking up on. Sometimes the long-distance relationship is given a new life by drunken instant messages or phone calls, but this beast is easily slain, not with silver bullets or garlic, but with sex acts involving gymnasts who live nearby.My advice is to save yourself the hassle – end it now. For those optimists, if it’s really meant to be, it will happen sometime in the future when you’re living in the same area code. College is a great place to meet people, and the parties are way more convenient and less sleazy than being picked up in a bar. Plus, there’s the benefit of knowing that UR boys will actually be able to hold an intelligent conversation, something you definitely won’t find at the bar scene where boys carry fake Harvard IDs to try to pick up girls.Kaplan-Shain can be reached at ikaplan-shain@campustimes.org.

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