Thank you, R
R, perhaps the best motivator is to know that long distance really can work out if you're in love and committed! I know there's a lot of negativity out there, especially in college, but just because distance is tough, and not for everybody, does not mean that your relationship is doomed. You're right that my husband and I had a long distance relationship (New England to New Zealand) for about a year and a half. That has worked out beautifully in the end. I have other friends, too, who have survived space and time and gone on to have beautiful happy marriages. California to Guatemala, Washington to a ship in the Pacific, Germany to Massachusetts, and half a dozen China to Boston. Some of these are still going strong, and others have ended very happily with both parties happily married and living under one roof.
I have a few general tips for you. Stay close in spirit even if you can't be close in person by using all avenues of communication available to you. Email every morning. Call every week. Skype when you get the privacy. Text little thoughts when you can. Send love letters the old-fashioned way. Discuss important and weighty matters as well as trivial little whims. Let him know that you're thinking of him, and help him show you the same. Keep planning your weekends and vacations together.
If it ever comes to the point where you want to transfer or move or seek a job near your mate, then talk to your family in a way that helps them to see that this is a reasonable move. They want things to work out well for you. At some point in your life, it becomes healthy and productive to change your life's course for the sake of love. That doesn't mean that you should give up your dreams and education, it just means that sometimes dreams change to include someone else. Show your family that you are making sound choice, and that happiness is sometimes worth a bit of an investment of energy and planning.
I don't know when you'll get to that point, but if the relationship continues to be a strong one, it is only a matter of time. Long distance relationships without any hope of an end to the distance don't stand much of a chance. Whether that end is one year off or four years off, realize that it will come. It is not foolish to plan for it.
Entering into my long-distance relationship felt rash at the time. So did moving my boyfriend around the world to be with me, moving in together immediately, and marrying within a few months of this change. Looking back now, these were easily a few of the best and most natural choices I ever made. I don't regret any of this. At the time, it felt like the only choices I made with my heart instead of my mind, but now I see that I was choosing with both, and that's why things worked out so well.
If you and your boyfriend both prefer being with one another at a distance to independence or the company of anyone else close at hand, then the relationship will work. You don't stay in long distance relationships because they're hard, you stay because the relationship makes you happy despite its challenges. Keep coming back to that, and you'll always have something to feel good about.
I wish you both the best of luck! May the next few years fly by.