By LAURA SANCHEZ, Staff Writer

I am in several long-distance relationships. Now, before you strike me as a very unconventional person– let me clarify. I’m not talking about the type of flimsy, hard-to- maintain long-distance relationships that you call romantic. I’m talking about other type of long-distance relationships, the friendship and family ones. Still hard-to-maintain, still difficult, but not flimsy at all. In fact, it’s the quite opposite; these are some of the strongest relationships I have. Ironic, isn’t it? I have connections and relationships and friendships with people who are so far away from me, yet whom I still communicate with on a daily basis.

My best friends are all over Canada, the USA, and Mexico, and while we’re not literally close, we’re still close friendship-wise. These are the girls that I can call when I’m having a bad day or have exciting news to share. We have text, we Snapchat, we Twitter, we Facebook, we email. We do every type of social media you can imagine. These are the easiest relationships I have, though. However, our group texts can get quite annoying at times (sometimes we don’t know how to shut up), and my phone will not stop vibrating.

These are the times I start to think, man, I need a break, but then I stop for a minute and think about how lucky I am to have these friendships that extend beyond country borders and stateliness. Being in a long-distance relationship with my parents is another story. By some twist of fate, we’re living in two separate countries; they’re in Mexico and I’m in the States. Shockingly, being separated from your parents is not the easiest thing in the world. I think it would be one thing to be separated from them state-wise, when I can drive to see them, do laundry at their house, and visit them for holidays like Thanksgiving. But living in two countries? That’s another ball-game. That means we have stupid long-distance phone call rates, and different time-zones, and we need airplanes involved if we want to see each other. Somehow though, we make it work, although it’s hard. I have Dad calling me at the oddest times of the day, like when I’m in the shower or when I’m just about to go out on Friday evening. I have my mom calling me when I’m studying for my Spanish exam, eager to talk.

I want to chat too – just not at that moment. We’ve slowly adapted into better routines, since Mom now knows how to iMessage me now (it’s free!), since texts are much easier than phone calls. Dad phones me every Friday morning without fail, and is eager to hear about my week. We all Skype with each other once in a while, and you haven’t seen true pleasure until you see your parents’ faces break into grins when they see their long-lost, far-away daughter on their computer screen. It’s true bliss.

Technology has eased the burden from being away from so many people, but nothing beats seeing them in real-life, especially when I’m lugging two suitcases in the airport, half-awake, and seeing my parents eagerly waiting for me, enveloping me in hugs, luggage and all. When my friends and I are in the same country, in the same city, seeing each other for the first time in months, the shouts and the laughter and hugs are everywhere, and we just take off where we left off in our group conversations. Long-distance may suck, but it’s worth it in the end.