Know what you’re getting into. A relationship is a full-time job. Some people talk about it being easier to find the love of your life at college or university, but it is not always the case. Getting into a relationship at university is not as glamorous as it may sound.
Believe me, I’ve been there. I’m currently 1.5 years into a relationship, my first, and one that started in university. My boyfriend and I had our ups and downs, but we made it through so far.
If you are in university and considering to invest some of your time in dating and relationships, you first need to be aware that it will require a lot of your time, and will probably not allow you to have full autonomy over your schedule. Unpredictable movie nights and arguments seasons do happen.
Being in a relationship takes work. Same goes for your studies and other activities on campus. This is very important for you to know before you even think about dating anyone in university.
It’s all about priorities.
So yes, that’s the first thing you should think about before deciding whether it’s worth for you to get into a relationship. What are your goals, in order of priority? Which comes first and which comes last: your career, your social life or your love life?
My goal in coming to university was to get out there and become an independent woman. I was career-focused, only because it helped me achieve independence in all aspects, but also took great value in social relationships. Because most importantly, I wanted a balanced life.
Obviously, the path to reaching your goals is not always straightforward. I got mixed up in some many things and before I knew it, I had a boyfriend. That’s when my list of priories got messy. I’d always make sure to go to school even though I didn’t have any class just so I could meet him. Although this was not such a bad thing, it was a bit detrimental to my productivity. I was wasting more time and energy.
Some evenings, I would stay back on campus, betting on the fact that we would go for dinner together, although I was tired and just wanted to go home. But I was willing to put up with it. Being in a relationship at university involves sacrificing a portion of your resources, and limiting your productive time.
Nevertheless, I decided to put up with it. Now, it is up to you to decide whether you would be ready to do the same.
My boyfriend added that, in a way, if this is not your first relationship, you might already know how to prioritise it along with your studies and other life goals. Besides, being in university shows great maturity in such things… I hope; please don’t be childish, be responsible and know what you are getting into beforehand.
“It isn’t all fun and games.”
Know your boundaries
There’s a misconception that relationships at University are always bad, but it’s not exactly the case if you both know your boundaries and how to handle your individual and ‘couple’ schedules.
However, there’s also another misconception that has been inspired by Instagram: #relationshipgoals yes? It’s that idea that a relationship is all ‘lovey-dovey’ moments, accompanied with beautiful foreign sights or fancy food, hugs, kisses and gifts.
As much as I wish this was true, it’s time to face reality guys: students are most likely broke and busy. Therefore, if you have been thinking about getting into a relationship just to capture those picture-perfect moments, a relationship at university is probably not worth it for you.
Yes, boundaries can be financial, social, intimate/sexual and even involve privacy policies that a couple should implement. Constantly demanding attention, gifts or romantic getaways is not always a good idea.
Your relationship might be a priority but you, as individuals, must be able to work on yourselves as well. Would you be willing to take on that challenge?
I was always someone who thought that I would never be demanding or ‘lovey-dovey’ because I was a strong independent woman. However, it turns out I AM EXACTLY THAT! Even though I’m ‘strong and independent’ with my individual goals and career path…
Yes, don’t underestimate yourself when you are in love. You might be surprised at what kind of partner you become.
Giving each other space is very important. It is important to understand that the two people in a couple are their own person, with their own personality and goals. You might differ in what you two want from the relationship, but it’s crucial to respect the other’s perspectives. Compromise if you must; have a plan and make it work.
“If both of you know each other’s goals in life and when to let each other have some space to pursue these goals, it should be fine.”
Final Verdict: Is getting into a relationship worth it at university?
For me, it’s a yes. Maybe I’m biased because this was my first relationship, but I did learn a lot. Sharing your life with someone is not a piece of cake but it’s something most of us would want to do at some point in our lives.
Being in a relationship when you are still young and yet autonomous allows you to find out more about yourself, because now at least you get a bigger and clearer picture of what you want in a relationship… or maybe you’d realise you don’t want to settle down with someone at all.
Most of all, it taught me to be patient with others, to learn how to forgive, to not be ashamed of vulnerability… to love, plain simple. I mean, coming from an Asian household, these are not aspects of human nature that you can learn at home.
But then, again, it takes work and time, therefore if you think that you cannot handle that amount of effort, it is probably not worth it for you. You may end up more stressed out and may neglect other important areas of your life.
There’s no rush. It’s okay to never have been in a relationship even if you’re in your mid-twenties. Keep doing what you are doing long as you are working towards your life goals.
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Your turn: What about you? Do you think it’s worth it to get into a relationship when you’re still at university? Let me know in the comments below!
D. K. Waye