My horses are at my parents. I live an hour away. Not too bad but don't see them often. It drives me nuts but I don't have to pay board and I know they are taken care of. Yes I could move back in with my parents to see the horses but it would mean giving up my current jobs, my apartment, and my relationship. In having my own life I need to accept that for the time being the horses are not the priority. If I make them my priority (in my situation) I would not have a life. There is very little for jobs/careers, housing, shopping, "life aside from the day to day" etc where my parents live.
Especially for you in college. The horse will not be around when you are desperately attempting to retire. You have a very rewarding challenging job that you have the drive for. Don't let other things distract you. The horse can be started later if need be. I definitely prioritize the current things in my life over my future (not a good habit, drives my mother nuts :)), but in my situation having horses wouldn't even work for the current things in my life. I couldn't have a "life".
Honestly (speaking in general, not to you) I don't understand why young people, no matter how experienced, get a horse, particularly a young horse, right before they start school. Especially if they want to focus on that horse. I think it's hard to imagine how crazy life can get once you're out of high school and on your own.
The horse will be fine being started later, or depending on your attachment, with another owner. You are not doing her a disservice by not focusing on you atm, but you would be doing yourself a disservice by giving up your dreams to focus on something fleeting and ultimately unimportant.
I would see if you could bring your horse closer, try to fit her in to your schedule. Maybe bring her to a barn where you could work with her and some of their horses for a little cash. Talk to the owners and let them know that you are interested but are a student. You might find a place that is willing to work with you. School comes first at this point in time. Just like my job/relationship/current life come first for me.
For the record I am 24 and have not (yet?) gone to college. Just didn't work out that way. I am lousy about planning for the future, and like I said, get stuck in the present. I love all my animals and it's very hard for me rarely seeing them. I make it work because that is what I need to do.
Best of luck. :)