As spring semester drew to a close, new couples wondered whether their relationships would last the summer apart, and singles went into the break uncertain of what was to come. For many relationships, summer can indicate an end or a beginning.
Daniel and Elana:
When Wharton and Engineering sophomore Daniel Moreno went to start his internship at Facebook in Silicon Valley this summer, he certainly wasn’t looking to pick up girls. The M&T student expected to be working too hard to socialize much, and for it to be focused on his career rather than a relationship. During his time at Facebook, the Colombia native created apps through a freshmen program. Before his internship, he was casually introduced to a girl online who would be in his incoming class at Facebook. They spoke a few times over the social networking site, and didn’t really think much of it.
The girl he met on the internet just a few months prior would soon become his girlfriend. Elana Simon was a rising sophomore attending Harvard University. The subject of several articles in The Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker, she discovered a treatment to the cancer she was affected with as a child and later met President Obama.
During their time at Facebook, they grew closer. They realized that they worked well together, and although they worked on different projects, found themselves spending more and more time together, originally to develop an app.
“We work really well together professionally," Moreno said. But eventually, a romance bloomed.
“I had no intention of meeting anyone at Facebook," Moreno said. Addressing their newfound long distance relationship, they didn’t know what would happen in the beginning. Both have never had luck in long distance relationships, but say this time is different. The couple decided not to put an expiration date on their newfound relationship though they were both going back to school in the fall.
During an interview, Simon humbly tried to push off Moreno’s comments of how proud he was of her. At Harvard, she is a Computer Science and Theater major, which Moreno continued to brag about throughout the interview.
“She’s my little superstar,” Moreno said.
The two already have plans to see each other throughout the year. Simon visited Penn for New Student Orientation, and Moreno plans to visit Harvard soon, perhaps over Fall Break.
Sharon and Josue:
The summer brought an unexpected test to another couple at Penn. Wharton junior Sharon and College junior Josue made their summer plans to be together, but ended up on opposite sides of the world.
Unlike Moreno and Simon, it took several times before the two realized their spark. Their first meeting was, like many at Penn, at a party. She attempted to say hi, but he was too busy talking to a friend. The second time they met, wasn’t so successful either.
“The second time I met him, I asked him to take a shot with me. He was bartending, and pretended to take a shot and threw it behind him, accidentally all over me,” Sharon said.
The third time they met, they started talking at another friend’s house. The only problem was he had a girlfriend from home in Spain. After deciding to be good friends and growing closer, Josue broke up with his girlfriend shortly before winter break and ended up dating Sharon.
This was their first trial apart from each other as a couple. They would then face the month in different countries — him in Spain and her in China.
Though together for the school year, the summer approached, and with it the decision of what to do. He had planned to go spend time in Spain with his family, and Sharon had a verbal offer to intern in New York.
Josue changed his plans to accept an internship in New York so that they could spend the summer together. Right before school ended, Sharon's plans fell through.
“I ended up finding something in Shanghai super last minute, and obviously we decided to stay together, because he was dedicated enough to move to New York to be with me,” Sharon said.
After previous attempts at long distance relationships, she doubted the ability for it to work.
It was difficult for them to keep in touch because of their long internship hours as well as the 12-hour time difference. Although their plans to visit over the summer didn’t pan out, they continued to keep in touch and are still together.
“It’s really weird, because three months is basically a third of our relationship, so we spent a third of our relationship apart,” Sharon said.
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