Being In A Relationship While You're At University

Mar 2017The Student Life

Being in a relationship at uni…

Freshers is make or break for most couples, the stories you hear of people cheating or struggling with the distance can really put you off. However, if you think you’ve really got the potential to keep it going, then who are we to stop you? Sometimes, relationships really can last when you’re miles apart, or you’ll be tested like never before. Many people associate university life with being single and carefree. Others love that comfort of having someone there with them. Here are a few pointers if you’re considering balancing the two different sides of your life.


How the relationship has a potential to work.

It’s nice to lead a double life

Freshers and the first year can be stressful as we’ve never been surrounded by so many people our own age before. It’s brilliant and entertaining, but sometimes it can frankly do your head in. Having a partner can introduce you to a different kind of scene, if you’re dying for company but none of your friends want to sacrifice a boozy night to watch re-runs of Inspector Gadget on TV. The good thing is that your partner is the one person who actually knew you before you moved away, so you don’t have to go about making first impressions or pretending to be into things you’re not. Having a weekend with them can sometimes feel like going back home, and you can enjoy new found luxuries like getting a full night’s sleep or not having a kitchen that stinks all the time. Don’t think of it like a compromise, but more like a bonus that nobody else gets.

You don’t have to give up being a Fresher

As long as your idea of a night out isn’t grinding on some stranger who’s been eyeing you up all night, there’s no real part of you that has to change. You’ll get many jokes about being ‘whipped’ or confined to what you’re allowed to do, but the experience is honestly no different. It’s also sometimes better as you’ll never be the one with the embarrassing stories who slept with a vile guy or kissed that old woman for a fiver. Going out and having a messy few weeks is not subject to being single, and you’ve got someone else to invite out with you if all else fails! Having somebody to share your experiences with who’s not your dad (as he’ll flip if he finds out you were out that late) is amazing, and you get to hear all about their experiences too. While there’s no doubt that a lot of stress or distrust can occur around this time of year, there’s really no need to worry if you’re both as committed to each other as you believe.

Why give it up?

What do you really have to gain by breaking up with somebody for the sake of University? Every student gets this massive surge of independence and responsibility, but that doesn’t mean you have to balance it all on your own to seem like you’re coping. If your relationship was worth anything to begin with, different experiences shouldn’t hinder that. From experience, students dump their other halves in freshers week as there’s so much going on they don’t think they’ll notice. Then come Christmas time or half term, they go home and realise what they’ve been missing and they can’t take it back. Having that person there whenever you need them isn’t worth throwing away for the sake of sleeping with that nice looking guy on a drunken Thursday night. If you give it up, know that it’d be really hard to take back and be sure you really want to do it. Even if you’re the only person around that’s not single, so what? It doesn’t make you any different or more dependent than anybody else, and it’s not their problem that you’re in a relationship you actually want to stay in.



Why it might not make the cut…

Additional stress

Sometimes, if university is really getting to you then the last thing you want is additional stress on top. From experience, sometimes you’re in for a really bad day if lectures are getting you down and you’re arguing with someone on top of it. If you’re the kind of person who really commits time to your partner then you might find that falling behind on work is something you expect. Balancing the two can be a struggle if you’ve got the temptation there to go and see them, and even more so if you find that you grow distant during weeks where you’re both busy. Your modules are bound to stress you out at some point as that’s what Uni does – if you find yourself wondering if your relationship is worth it when balancing out the pros and cons then it might not be for you.

Lack of independence

Leaving school or college to dive into university life is sometimes the best part for students. Gaining that independent life and doing new things can really give you a sense of adulthood and make you feel more secure. Suddenly you’re preparing for seminars while writing out your food shopping list and you feel like you’re responsible for yourself. However, this can be compromised if you’ve got a bit of your home life with you. As pretentious as it sounds, a lot of us like to reinvent ourselves and become less argumentative, more concerned with work etc, as you get fed up of old habits. Having someone who knows who you were before can sometimes drag you back down, and spending constant time with your other half can stunt your independence if you feel like you’re still relying on the same things you used to. Sometimes the best experiences are had when you don’t know what you’re doing, making new friends or doing things that perhaps you wouldn’t before.


Is the relationship becoming a chore?

You may find that you start to associate your relationship with bad things. Moving away for example, and having your partner stay at home, can lead to a lot of problems if either of you have trust issues or doubt each other with other people. If you’ve set out a weekend to commit yourself to work then you may find you just don’t have the time to sit down and answer Skype. While it’s important to realise that needing ‘me’ time doesn’t reflect on your relationship, there’s often a feeling of guilt where you’ve got to get things done and sacrifice some of the time with them to make it happen. Long distance doesn’t have to be difficult, but don’t try and drag it out longer than you have to if you find it was a bad idea to carry on seeing each other. Students who are keen for a bustling life of work, socials, extracurricular activities and a part time job will hardly get time to sleep, let alone maintain the constant contact that some prefer in a relationship.

While it is never anyone else’s job to tell you whether you should stay with them or not, it is more than wise to look at the factors University will bring if you’re deciding whether to start a new chapter of your life together or whether calling it quits to avoid ending badly is the better option. And the final element – make it about you. Don’t act differently because people expect something else of you. The last thing you want is friends that think you need to leave your partner to party with them more or people who judge you for wanting to study commitment-free. It’s time to find yourself!


A My Uni Basics blog, by Hannah Newberry