Lillian Rizzo (12) feature

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Lillian Rizzo (12) and Jacob Amptmeyer celebrate the new year together. Rizzo and Amptmeyer said goodbye the next day.

Kelly Hayes, Print Team Leader

   High school is a place that is full of break-ups and make-ups. Most students are in relationships with students at their school or one nearby, but this isn’t always the case. Lillian Rizzo’s (12) boyfriend, Jacob Amptmeyer, is enlisted in the U.S. Army and is currently stationed overseas. 

   “The hardest part is just the overall distance, it’s a 15 hour flight and a 9 hour time difference,” Rizzo said.

   Imagine sitting in a plane with hundreds of people aboard. There are small seats, crying babies and bad food. Imagine being in that environment for 15 hours. 

   That is what Rizzo and Amptmeyer would have to endure in order to see each other in person. 

   When Rizzo wakes up in the mornings for school, it is three in the afternoon by Amptmeyer. This gives them time to Facetime and tell eachother about what will happen in their day.

   But with his busy schedule and her school and track, things can get complicated. That is why they do everything in their power to make it work.

    “[The hardest part about dating someone stationed across the country is] the contact, because sometimes I’ll be asleep and he will be awake or vise versa. We snap each other throughout the day even if the other is asleep. It’s really sad, but we’re trying to make it work. At some points of the day it’s the perfect time to talk, like when I’m in school, because he doesn’t have anything to do then and I have some down time to text, Snapchat or Facetime. But we mostly just Facetime on the weekends,” Rizzo said.

  Rizzo and Amptmeyer have been dating for 2 months. They try and make the best of their situation by sending gifts and letters back and forth to surprise one another.

    “We always tell each other about our day, and if someone has had a bad day we’ll try to make each other smile. We talk as much as we can and we write to each other and send each other things. I send him boxes full of little things so he has a little bit of comfort from home and to make him smile. Letters are things you can hold and keep with you forever, text messages and snaps can go away after a certain amount of time,” Rizzo said.

   Every day Rizzo encounters couples, whether at school or just going out. It can start to wear a person down.

   “It’s kind of hard [to see other relationships], because it makes me feel lonely. I mean he’s kind of far. It’s like I’m with someone, but I’m not actually with them,” Rizzo said.

   But with all of these hardships the couple must endure, there are a few bright sides. With the amount of time they spend apart, it just makes it all the more special when they are in each other’s arms again.

   “We countdown the days until we are together again. He’s planning to surprise me when he gets back [on leave], like one of those videos you see on Instagram, and then we’re probably going to hang out as much as we can to soak up that time together,” Rizzo said.