This post was meant to go out yesterday and I forgot to post it, whoops! So this was a requested post by one of my subscribers Sophie, and she’s asked me to write a little bit about my experience with relationships at university. I’ve posted on personal topics regarding relationships before (here and here), and had some people get a little a silly on the comments. I’m happy for people to comment opinions etc on my blog, but if you are going to have an opinion, which may be a little less then pleasant, please be brave and not post it anonymously and try not to be rude!
I got into a relationship very quickly at University, and stayed in that relationship for 4 years. (So all the was through uni and a year after) So I never really did the dating thing, or the wild partying and one night stand thing that people assume all students do. I’m not going to go into too much detail on the relationship as you can read about it in the posts I’ve linked above. I’m just going to share a few things that I’d learnt from being in that position
You might not stay with the partner you go to uni with – I had a boyfriend when I went to uni and it didn’t last. I was meeting lots of new people and the pressure of trying to keep up a relationship in an environment where everything was changing was too much. If you do go to uni with a partner, then make sure you communicate frequently, and talk if things are getting tough. It’s easy to be swept up in your new uni life.
Don’t jump into anything too quickly – Its easy to be swept away in the idea of a uni romance, especially if you’re living in the same place as I was. One of my biggest regrets is not giving myself enough time to settle into uni before I got into a relationship.Looking back I should have got stuck into the course and social events more before I made a commitment to someone.
Socialise with people first – Again don’t jump into anything with one person too quickly, meet people, go on dates and really get to know people. You might find the person you originally liked is actually a bit of a dick, or the quiet one you over looked and thought of as a friend may actually be the love of your life. Don’t rush it!
Don’t believe everything you hear – I’m not saying be the most paranoid person in the world (I should have taken my own advice in both these statements) but just be wary that things may not always be what you think.
Talk about where your relationship is going- Following on from the above point, talk about where you want your relationship to go, don’t play mind games (too much effort). You might want to be exclusive, they may want to be casual sex. If these two things don’t match up then bin them off. Your time at uni is far too short to waste playing cat and mouse with people
Always be yourself – Don’t pretend to be someone your not to please somebody else, if they can’t accept your for who you are or want you to change they really aren’t worth it. Again don’t waste your time trying to fit in with someone else’s ideals.
Be Safe – If you choose to have casual relationships with people (and by that I mean casual sex also) then good for you! There’s no shame in it. Just y’know protect yourself and get tested regularly, you know the drill. And try not to get too drunk that you forget to do this.
Think carefully about living arrangements – If you’ve managed to get past the casual dating and find yourself in a relationship with somebody lasting to the point of where you have to move accommodation (for example when you start second year), I’d say think very carefully about whether you want to live with your partner. This is one of the biggest issues I think. I did live with my ex for three years while I was at university and looking back I think it was a mistake. There was no breathing space from each other, and no time to really be alone, plus if arguments happened it affected the rest of the house-mates which wasn’t fair on them either. Plus you’ll probably end up cooking their tea and doing their laundry, when you should really be doing coursework. It means you’ll get distracted a lot easier.
If its not right then leave – This is another reason why it’s so important that you think carefully before you live with somebody at university. If you start having doubts then its hard to leave, or if you break up it will be very hard to live with that person. There was a couple of points in my time at university when I wanted to be out of the relationship, and one of the things that kept me in it was the living situation. But if you don’t want to be in the relationship then have a talk with your partner, and if it’s really not right then there’s no shame in calling it a day.
If they cheat on you don’t bother – You’re at uni to have fun and do your course, not to be a paranoid wreck and be constantly worrying about your relationship. If it happens once, it will most likely happen again, and it will be a really hard thing to move past. (This counts for every relationship not just uni ones)
If it doesn’t go any further then Uni don’t worry – It might be inevitable that it will come to an end, you might have different plans after uni and that’s ok. Don’t change your plans or go chasing after somebody else’s if its not what you really want. It might be hard to let go or the relationship but it may be the best thing. If you want to try giving it a go after uni that’s fine just make sure its what you really want. Just make sure you stay true to yourself. I mentioned this in one of the posts I linked above.
I hope this is helpful to you guys, and just to add that it is possible for relationships during uni to work and carry on after. My friend and her boyfriend have been together seven years now and were together from being in the 6th form, all the way through uni up to now. I think at uni can make relationships harder as its a temporary thing for three years and nobody is really certain of their future plans, but it is possible.
Thank you to Sophie for suggesting this post and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you guys have been in a relationship during uni let me know about your experience in the comments and if you have any other uni advice topics you’d like me to discuss let me know!