Your college identity is more important than your relationship

By Jaclyn Labes
September 23, 2015


Out with the old and in with the new. The transition from high school to college is an exciting new chapter in life but–if you are in a relationship–things might get complicated. For some, it is completely exhausting trying to keep that relationship alive. College is a new lifestyle for freshman students, which takes a lot of time and effort to get used to. Being involved in a stressful relationship puts a big damper on all that excitement.

Trying to resolve your relationship issues with your partner can become very challenging as you try to focus on school work and stay organized. Even if you told yourself before you started college that you would not let your relationship problems get in the way of your academic goals, it can still easily happen.

Not having the ability to successfully create a balance between school and your relationship is going to make things even more problematic as the year goes on. You are not going to be present enough in all the opportunities college is handing you if you are spending too much time talking to your boyfriend instead of integrating with others and taking in the full freshman experience.

If you are anything like me, you did not have a clue what you wanted to pursue upon entering college, which is completely fine. On top of juggling the problems I had as an undecided student, I was also in a relationship that ended during my freshman year because it was best for us to have time to be on our own. After that ended, I started to step out of my comfort zone and made progress as time went on.

It might be time to take a break from your long-term relationship, at least for the first couple of months of freshman year. College is a time to discover who you are, and if you are letting the stress of solving the issues in a relationship that began in high school prevent that, you are missing out on the unique possibilities right in front of your eyes. Also, if you two have been separated for a couple of months and you realize that you are able to follow your dreams and be happy but still want that relationship back, then go for it.

Once the two of you get back together, both of you will be happy that you took the time to discover new things about yourselves and did not hold each other back from growing separately as an individual.

I understand that it is hard to break it off, especially if you have been together all of high school. The two of you have been through everything together and cannot imagine what it would be like without one another. However, there is no way for you to get out of that shell you are hiding in if you continually resort to staying in your dorm room on an ugly phone call with your boyfriend instead of going out with your roommate on a Friday night, who is probably tired of hearing about your relationship issues.

There is no easy solution to this problem. It is hard to let go of someone you have known for so long, at least for the time being but, it could really benefit you in the long run. Determining how the next four years of your life as a collegiate student will be spent is up to you. Make it worthwhile and choose to do whatever it is that you enjoy because this is the time for you to flourish.

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Jaclyn Labes

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