Everyone knows the stereotype. Uni is the place to explore, to have adventures, to experiment. Every TV show and movie is overrun with wild tertiary students, finding their freedom and making out with strangers at parties. And although this may be some people’s idea of a good time, uni doesn’t shape up that way for everyone. Some people start uni when they’re married. Some are in committed relationships. Some have no interest in romantic relationships at all. And everyone’s experience is okay. But there are a few things to know about how entering uni while in a relationship might alter your experiences – not necessarily in a bad way!
First and foremost, just because your uni experience may not look like everyone else’s, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy uni and get just as much out of it as the next person. No two uni lives are created equal. It’s all about setting your priorities, and dedicating time to each aspect of your life. Friends, relationships, family, uni – they all take a lot of work!
There is a definite plus side to starting uni while in a relationship. You’ve already got a strong support network established. You have someone to assist you in the transition from regular life to uni life. Someone to complain to after a long day of studying. This could be slightly complicated if your partner has no first-hand experience, and isn’t able to understand your uni struggles, but as long as they are there for you that’s all that counts.
If you’re moving away from your home town and/or your partner for uni, make sure you consider the strain this might put on your relationship. Have you ever spent long periods of time apart before? You may need to talk about the best way to juggle face-to-face time, and talking via Skype or long-distance calls. Although it may be complicated, relationships are all about compromise, and surviving the time apart will prove how strong your relationship truly is.
Make sure to consider how your relationship might impact on your uni experience. Will spending time with your partner cut into your study time, or will you have to miss days of class or travel home to see them? Also think about how your relationship might affect the friendships you’re trying to develop at uni. Imagine how tough it would be to make friends if you spend all day texting your significant other, and visit them every weekend. Although relationships are extremely important, remember to pay attention to the other things you have going on in your life. We’ve got some great tips for balancing love and study!
Uni is a huge experience. And it can’t be denied that it changes people, helps them to grow into the person they’re meant to be. And (partly) because of this, relationships that enter into the university vortex don’t always come out the same at the other end.
Just trust your instincts, be honest with your partner about your feelings, and know that if you two are truly meant to be then you can definitely find a way to navigate uni life together.